Originally sold as a product for cleaning up after a baby, these wipes have not expanded into the adult market as well. They are sold as flushable since people are happy with the idea of flushing it and forgetting about it. When toilet paper is flushed down, the thin paper starts to break down immediately. This allows for the paper to low through the pipes with ease. Flushable wipes aren’t breaking down, even ones that are promoted as biodegradable.
In 2014, the city of London had to deal with an issue that was called “the fatberg”. These wipes mixed with fats from food to create a 16-ton mass that clogged the city’s drainage system. It took the local workers 3 weeks to clear out “the fatberg”.
In New York City, the wastewater system routinely deals with wet-wipe “superknots”. Numerous homeowners and apartments building owners have spent fortunes on plumbers to deal with these flushable wipes and in recent years, the city has spent $18 million dollars of taxpayer money to clear numerous flushable wipe masses out of the public works.
Here is the general rule when it comes to flushable wipes: They are not flushable. This is a term used by marketers to attract the eye of people who want things to be as easy as pressing the handle. By flushing these wipes, you are saving yourself a few seconds of time, but you will be paying out hundreds in plumber’s bill when those wipes clog up your pipes or your septic systems. If you get lucky and your own house doesn’t have a problem, your community will, and in the case of New York City, I am sure those taxpayers could come up with better ways to spend 18 million dollars.