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Don’t Believe The Hype – No Flushing Wipes
Are flushable wipes safe for septic tanks? If you’re a parent or a woman chance’s are you’ve used flushable hygiene products or baby wipes before. The problem is not with the product itself but what happens to them after you’ve flushed them down the toilet.
All flushable bathroom products such baby wipes, paper towels, sanitary pads, and cleaning wand pop-off pads despite what the label reads were not made to be flushed down your toilet. Unlike toilet paper that immediately breaks down when you flush them, the so-called “flushable” products are not so flushable and remain virtually intact after being flushed.
There’s a real strong possibility that your pipes and pumps will become backed up and the repair costs for these types of backups can run into thousands of dollars.
You may have seen these flushable wipes being marketed as “safe for septic use” but when you compare them to plain old toilet paper they simply do not break down as they should (see video below) and this wreaks havoc on your septic system.
Flushables Not So “Flushable”
Disposable wipes are neither biodegradable nor are they safe for use in toilets or septic systems. If you want to keep your sewage ejector pump, septic pump or grinder pump free from clogging up, only flush toilet paper and dispose of all other items in the garbage can.
The city of Vancouver recently had to spend more than $700,000 installing new non-clogging pumps around the city. These let the wipes go through but were caught later on, by a screen. Vancouver still spends $100,000 each year pulling wipes out of the pumping station. All of this adds up and is passed along to sewage customers.
Flushable wipes definitely clog toilets, pipes, and pumps. If you’re not careful you will end up needing to replace or upgrade your septic systems. The build up may not be very noticeable immediately but over time, you will find that your tank requires servicing and pumping more often.
Manufacturers Define “Flushable: Differently
The biggest problem is that manufacturers are not conducting proper disintegration tests for flushable products that actually mimic an actual septic or sewer system that you would experience in real life.
Of course the manufacturers have a different story altogether claiming their tests show that the products labeled as “flushable” indeed are safe for sewer and septic systems. And then you can get into the whole debate as how do you define “flushable.” Consumer Reports video shows that just because a product is labeled flushable doesn’t mean it should be flushed.
It’s fine for you to use convenience products but they should be disposed of with solid waste in your garbage. Wouldn’t it be better for you to err on the side of caution and stop flushing all items in question that you aren’t sure if they’re flushable or not?
Bagging these items and placing them inside of a garbage can is not a terribly involved task and this way you will know that you are saving yourself from having costly plumbing bills. Once you adopt this new policy you need to alert everyone in your family about the protocol to flushing.