Last January, we wrote about so-called flushables. These are items that state they can be flushed, but really can’t. It’s a hot topic because clogged sewer lines and city waste treatment plants are overwhelmed with items that are really not flushable.

Wipes are one of the main problem items pulled from clogged sewer systems. These should not be flushed even though their packaging and marketing says they are flushable.

To help understand this problem, watch this great video called “Adam Ruins Everything –Why Flushable Wipes Aren’t Flushable.”

As you can see, residential and city sewer lines were not designed for items beyond toilet paper. Flushing anything except body waste and toilet paper is asking for trouble.

We don’t want to show you gross pictures of what happens underground and downstream, but if interested in learning more, watch these Seattle Public Utility videos: Make It A Straight Flush and Straight Flush. And, if you like horror stories, google ‘what is a fat berg’.

Trash It

Cities are trying to get the word out about wipes and what can happen when they are flushed down the toilet. New York city has created a public awareness campaign called, “Trash it, don’t flush it.” Wet wipes and cooking grease are key problems.

To be clear on what can be flushed, it’s the 4 Ps: Poop, Pee, Puke, and toilet Paper. Nothing else.

Consumers are taking action against the damage wipes can cause. An interesting example is the Bizjournal/Bizwomen 2018 article about a class action lawsuit stemming from flushed wipes.

In addition to wipes, other items not to flush down the toilet are: paper towels, floss, tampons, cotton balls, pads, hair, diapers, diaper liners, kitty litter, and cotton swab sticks. Trash it instead.

Tell Everybody

We find that many plugged sewer calls are the result of people flushing non-flushables down the toilet over a period of time. Keep a plastic-lined garbage container next to your toilet for wipes and everything else non-flushable. Then put everything that’s not one of the 4 Ps into the garbage instead of the toilet.

This change in habit from the toilet to the garbage may save you many thousands of dollars in sewer line repairs. It will also help save your city waste treatment plants.

Don’t believe the advertisements promising the convenience of non-flushables. Trash these items instead. And as our friend in PR says, “Tell everybody!”

Thanks for reading. Call Raymark Plumbing & Sewer in Seattle for help with all of your plumbing and sewer problems. (206) 440-9077.

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