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Flushable Wipes Bad for the Sewers

flushable wipesPre-moistened "flushable" wipes have increased in popularity over the past few years.  They're convenient and easy, but unfortunately, they don't break down as claimed.  London has been seeing some serious problems with their sewer system as a result of these flushable wipes.  

“The baby wipes and the so-called flushable wipes — that we say are never flushable — help bind [the fats] together, like bricks and mortar, and eventually what you end up with is a large mass of fat that is rock hard. It goes hard like chalk. And once its in there its hard to get it out," explains Craig Rance of Thames Water,the company managing the public water supply in the London area. A 15-ton "fatberg" in Kingston, a London suburb, required Thames Water to dig up the roads for six months to remedy the problem.

Rance advises that only two things go down the toilet:  “Only toilet paper and human waste.  We treat the toilet like a magic portal.”

I admit I bought some flushable wipes in the past when my son was being potty trained.  In spite of them being marketed as flushable, I began to notice that our downstairs toilet was laboring with each flush.  We fixed it, I stopped using the flushable wipes, and we've never had a problem since.  Instead, I started using Bodifresh sprays which works really well in lieu of flushable wipes for little kids.  

You can listen to the discussion with Craig Rance here: