Disposable wipes being sold as flushable Wet Wipes Block Pipes and are costing households and public utilities millions of dollars a year. There has been an explosion in the demand of wipes and some of them even claim to be flushable, which means that they can be flushed like toilet paper instead of getting tossed in the bin.
Are flushable wipes actually flushable?
Not if you listen to Australia’s water service providers who shell out about $15 million annually, and increasing, to clear mostly wet wipes that are causing blockages.
The dirty facts about so called flushable wipes.
- 25% of Sydney residents flush wet wipes.
- Over the past 2 years, Sydney Water has dredged out over 1,000 tonnes of wet wipes in their wastewater system. If you lay those wipes end-to-end it is an equivalent to a round trip to LA.
- The chance of pipe blockages and overflow to local waterways increases with wet wipes.
- Three-quarters of all sewer blockages are due to wet wipes.
(Info provided by Sydney Water)
What flushable wipes are doing to the wastewater system
Everything that is flushed doesn’t automatically breakdown and although flushable wipes makers say that their wipes are “made to dissolve and disintegrate” and “breakdown like toilet paper”, plumbers and those working in the wastewater sector beg to differ.
At least once a fortnight, workers at wastewater facilities remove major blockages resulting from wipes.
What flushable wipes are doing to backyards
Some wipes don’t actually get off the property where they were flushed. If this occurs, the property owner is responsible for the costs to remove the blockage.
Sydney’s Sky Blue plumbing spends more and more time removing wet wipes for their customers, who are surprised at the damage caused by “flushable wipes”. Costs can dramatically increase from there. Blockages or burst pipes due to wipes have resulted in some residents of Sydney shelling out personal plumbing costs as much as $16,000. Other customers have had raw sewage covering their backyards as a result of blocked pipes caused by flushable wipes.
Wipes will end up in our waterways if they are not removed by our treatment plants. The only thing that should be flushed down a toilet is human waste and toilet paper. If you have a pipe blockage on your property, there is a good chance it’s from wet wipes. Contact us to have your pipes unblocked.
Image from Yarra Valley Water