Now here is a piece of news that is a bummer, pun intended. Turns out, the so-called flushable bathroom wipes that we use and flush down the toilet without a worry aren’t really flushable after all. In fact, these wipes are the biggest culprits in the US, when it comes to clogging of sewers. What is expected of these flushable wipes is that they would break down and dissolve once flushed down the toilet, but that isn’t happening, which in turn is leading to a lot of trouble for municipalities around the US.
Reportedly, millions of dollars is going the drain because of this issue. Workers and equipment have to be especially appointed just for unclogging of the sewers and blocked pipelines. This problem actually came to the fore, when in London the municipality faced a similar issue. As a matter of fact, a gargantuan 15-ton lump mainly comprising of these wipes was found in the sewers there. If you can’t picture in your head how huge such a lump would look, just imagine a lump as big as a school bus or slightly bigger.
It seems this flushable wipe issue has grown in proportion in the last 4 years, which coincides with the growing popularity of the so-called flushable cleaning cloths. The flushable wipe industry since 2007 has grown in leaps and bounds and is presently a $6 billion industry, which should give you an idea of how popular a product it is. While these bathroom wipe companies are laughing all the way to the bank, the municipalities are having sleepless nights because of how serious this is becoming. In fact, officials have even begun keeping track of which households use the most number of these wipes, by monitoring how clogged their sewage pipelines are.
After the matter is investigated, authorities send letters to the households using these wipes in a large quantity, appealing them to cut down on using this product. The companies that manufacture these wipes have washed their hands off the blame completely. Instead they blame the households for the whole issue, saying it is because of non-flushable wipes and baby wipes being flushed down the toilet that all the clogging is taking place. A rep for one of the companies was even quoted as saying “My team regularly goes sewer diving. We’ve seen the majority, 90 percent in fact, are items that are not supposed to be flushed, like paper towels, feminine products or baby wipes.” It seems like this is one issue that won’t dissolve so easily.