They Might Say ‘Flushable,’ But You Still Shouldn’t Flush Those Wipes [VIDEO]

A wastewater treatment facility in South Carolina is sort of releasing a PSA about why you shouldn’t flush those wipes, and it comes in the form of a 1-ton clog.

By on October 17, 2018
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Just because the wipes say they’re flushable doesn’t mean you should flush them. Just like how “water resistant” doesn’t mean “water proof.” A lot of things are technically “flushable.” Newspaper, plastic bags, golf balls, etc are all “flushable.” Doesn’t mean you should.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, here’s the very gross reason why. Unlike actual toilet paper, the “flushables” don’t break down. They stay complete, and get tangled around all sorts of other things. If any of you have ever had to pay someone to dig up your sewer line for replacement, you know there’s roots and other things in the lines. They break off, go downstream, and collect other sticks and things along the way. When these wipes run into those, they just stick there and slow the flow. When those wipes make it all the way to the sewage treatment facility, the same applies.

The wipes collect and clog the treatment facility’s machines and pumps. Those clogs can cause a lot of damage and backups. Or in the case of this facility in Charleston, SC, they have to send a dive team in to remove the clog. Yes, a dive team, literally scuba-dove through raw sewage. I can hear you gagging all the way from here. It took a team of three divers three days to unclog the mess at a depth of 100 feet. The compacted mass of wipes weighed in around a couple thousand pounds once they got their system cleared out. Source 1, and source 2.

Video here, if you dare.

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