'Flushable' wipes causing expensive sewer clogs - WSMV Channel 4

'Flushable' wipes causing expensive sewer clogs

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What we flush is out of sight, and out of mind; but there's something the Metro Water and Sewer Department wants you to know about wipes that are labeled as "flushable" - they don't disintegrate.

Wipes that make it in the Metro sewer system become an expensive nuisance, according to Sonia Harvat, spokeswoman for Metro Water and Sewer.

Harvat said that instead of dissolving, the wipes turn into a stringy mess that clogs equipment and causes about $100,000 worth of maintenance problems every year.

"They don't break up. They tear, they get stringy, and that's really why these shouldn't be put into a toilet," Harvat said.

She said people also should avoid putting feminine hygiene products, Q-tips and dental floss in the toilet.

The strings from the wipes wrap around the pumps, Harvat said, and have actually shut down parts of the sewer system.

The expense is passed along to customers in higher water and sewer bills.

Harvat warns the wipes can also damage your home's plumbing, and cause a sewage backup in your house. Toilet paper dissolves within seconds, but wipes do not.

The department is launching a campaign encouraging people who use wipes to dispose of them in the trash.

"Our campaign is trash the wipes, don't flush," she said.

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