There are some things most of us not to flush down the toilet, like a baseball or a sneaker, for example. But, should ‘flushable’ wipes be allowed down the drain? Aren’t they made to be flushed? It turns out that nothing except for toilet paper should be flushed. And here’s why.
There’s a common reaction among plumbers when they know or find out there job is because of wipes: they just hang their head, knowing it’s going to be a long day. A single job can take three or four hours of snaking one drain.
But why is this? Aren’t they made to be flushable? It turns out that nothing can replace good ole’ toilet paper. There’s a simple explanation: toilet paper dissolves, and flushable wipes don’t. One plumber, Rex Kinney, says, “People flush them down the toilet and they go down the drain no problem, but usually when they hit … a 45-degree elbow within the homeowner’s plumbing pipes going out to the street, that’s when they just start congregating.”
An industry worth well over $2 billion, personal wipes have a heavy grip on people’s daily lives. And they can do more damage than just clogging a drain; it could end up damaging wastewater equipment itself. And of course, this leads to a bigger bill for everyone.
One group–The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA)–released a new set of guidelines that they want followed, called the GD4. These will test the composition of wipes to determine if they are indeed flushable. They must pass this seven-part test in order to be deemed compliant. The process isn’t perfect, however, and is currently being debated to determine if it is indeed a rigorous enough test.
Is there a perfect process to determine how ‘flushable’ wipes are? Should we trust manufacturers when they say that? Is this a pain you often see on the job? Tell us your thoughts!
For more in-depth analyses, video clips, and the whole article, read it on Today’s website here: https://www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/are-flushable-wipes-really-flushable-t151945