There is not always truth in advertising. "Flushable" wipes* claim to be safe for sewer and septic, but the fiber-strong wipes are proving otherwise. Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to quickly disintegrate in water, the wipes keep their form as they travel through our pipes.
As the wipes move through the sewer system, they can catch on tree roots that have grown into the infrastructure and create sewer backups. Once arriving at the water reclamation facility, the wipes wrap around and clog equipment. The removal of this debris and the repair of damaged equipment can potentially lead to greater expenses for the Public Utilities Department and the citizens of Athens-Clarke County.
What Can You Do?
1. Wipe-out wipes. Use good old fashioned toilet paper to clean up.
2. Take a tip from Dr. Oz. Keep a spray bottle of water by the toilet. Fold up your toilet paper and spritz with water, then wipe.
3. Love the wipes? We aren't telling you not to use wipes, but if you choose these products, PUT THEM IN THE TRASH can, not the commode. Afraid it may cause odors? Place used wipes in a small trash can with a tight-fitting lid, a Diaper Genie II, or old grocery bags you can tightly seal. Place an air freshener that neutralizes odors, rather than cover them with strong perfume scents, in the bathroom.
See for yourself
View a comparison test conducted by Consumer Reports to see how toilet paper and "flushable" wipes respond to water.
Some companies are trying to solve the utilities' wipe gripe. They are developing new combinations of materials that will break down faster in the water. Unless you know for sure you have one of these products - and there are not many of them, - toss them. Remember, "When in doubt, throw it out."