The question of the day: are flushable wipes truly safe to flush? It wasn’t that long ago that the good people of Australia were going crazy over toilet paper along with the rest of the world. The start of Covid-19 saw a time when loo paper was looking rather valuable, while some opted for other wipeable options as shelves emptied.
The problems caused by these, now used, ‘flushable’ products, however, have been going on long before the recent toilet paper panic buys of 2020. Yet, more individuals believe that the labels of such flushable products are correct and are proceeding to flush the actually-non-flushable wipes down the toilet.
First off, even if a product plainly states that it’s ‘flushable’, think twice before endangering your pricey sewage system, as well as, the environment! Secondly, it was back in 2017 that a Water UK report outlined the dangers that flushing wipes bring to sewage systems and the environment. Thirdly, just because the product says ‘flushable’ doesn’t mean it is suitable for every toilet. Every toilet is different, and when applying your common sense, you’ll be able to see that these one-size-fits-all flushable wipes do not fit every toilet type and system and therefore can’t possibly be flushable.
In this blog, we look to prove once again that the only thing that is to be flushed down your toilet is loo paper. Throughout this blog, the professional voice of the plumber is heard in attempts to convince home dwellers never to believe what’s written on a label and rather to save their toilets from problems by sticking to good old fashioned toilet paper. By the end of this blog, you’ll know how safe flushing “flushable” wipes down the drain is for your home sewage system.
CAN I FLUSH THESE WIPES?
According to the Washington Post, the labelling of flushable wipes as “flushable” is not false advertising – you can flush these wipes, but our question is whether you should. Tim Carter (the author), makes an excellent counterpoint regarding this statement. Various objects such as cell phones, golf balls, toys, you name it, are flushed – but, of course, doing this is highly ill-advised.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PROBLEM?
The wipes that we are looking into a little more closely are wipes that are labelled as “flushable” and “septic-safe”. When it comes to marketing, we know to take everything in with a pinch of salt. Even though these wipes do break down eventually, they take a longer amount of time to do this compared to toilet paper. Because the breakdown of this product isn’t as immediate, blockages and clogged pipes occur more frequently as a result. By flushing these wipes, you are putting your home’s plumbing at risk for serious clogs. This increases the likelihood of accumulating some hefty plumbing bills.
EVEN IF THE LABEL PROMISES SAFE FLUSHING, IT’S STILL NOT SAFE
As mentioned, it’s a common strategy for the manufacturers of these products to make it seem like these wipes are super easy to dispose of. However, after these wipes are disposed of in this way, they can get caught up with other items that are in your sewer line at the same time. Other commonly-flushed items that contribute to backups and clogs include toilet cleaning pads, sanitary pads, dental floss, cotton swabs, paper towels and thick toilet paper.
Another reason to not flush wet wipes down the toilet is its biodegradability. Many products that are also flushed down the toilet are done so because they are labelled as ‘biodegradable’. Many consumers don’t investigate it that much but what this means is that the wipe will break down into smaller pieces. The product doesn’t entirely decompose. The consequence of this is the release of millions of microfibers into the surrounding ecosystems and the formation of fatbergs (flushed non-biodegradable solid matter that forms a mass in a sewer system).
To sum up all of the above; even if a product plainly states that it’s ‘flushable’, think twice before endangering your pricey sewage system, as well as, the environment!
For more advice, check-ins and plumbing solutions, contact DCM Plumbing & Drainage today. Stay tuned for more tips, answers, preventative measures and solutions from Gold Coast plumbing experts.