Flushable wipes are ruining your septic system

septic tank wipes

We are often asked if certain things are “flushable” if living on septic system. Typically the questions lead more towards paper towels, Clorox wipes, Q-tips, tampons, kitty litter, etc.  (Just in case you are wondering, the answer to these items is always NO!) 

I am yet to receive a phone call that specifically asks or addresses using “flushable wipes”. I mean I kind of understand since most all wipe packaging states that is “flushable”, “designed with plumbers”, “Safeflush technology” and a whole lot of other misleading marketing jargon.

Flushable wipes are wreaking havoc not only to septic systems, but also to city sewer systems throughout the world! There is records of one junk of wipes equaling the size of a bus that was pulled from the sewer system in England.  A Bus! Can you imagine the sight of that beast?! The photo above is from a wastewater treatment plant. Obviously, these wipes are not as biodegradable or decomposable as they are advertised to be!

 

flushable wipes are no no for septic systems

As professionals in the pumping industry, our team strives to educate our customers on the proper use of their septic systems. During this education, we always advise NOT to use flushable wipes. 

However, customers that are doing research on their own may become confused! Here is an example of the mis-information that the wipe marketing companies are paying websites to solicit for them. This website has an actual list for the best flushable wipes for septic systems! 

BOGUS! There is no such thing as a “best flushable wipe for a septic system”.  None of the marketing terminology that makes consumers feel warm and fuzzy about flushing these little buggers is substantiated! When you Google SafeFlush Technology, it is truly meaningless except for Cottonelle wipes – just another buzz marketing word.

The last photo to your right is an actual photo of our septic truck trying to dump these “flushable” wipes!

EWWWW!

Many times the technicians literally have to reach up inside of the tank and pull these “strings” out of the tank. There is a crazy  amount of clogging that happens when trying to sucks the wipes up out of the tank to even get them in the truck too!  A home that uses an excess or exclusive wipes also builds up a huge blanket of wipes inside of the septic tank. It’s like trying to suck a down-comforter of wipes out of the septic tank. Not easy!

truck wipes

Pumping costs continue to rise because of the use of the “flushable wipes”. Cleaning the wipes out of the tank takes longer time to break up and extract, but they also take our technicians a long time to clean out of the septic tank. If you are a fan of these kinds of wipes, be prepared for a surcharge when your septic tank is pumped. There really is no way around it since it takes so much time! 

Remember the toilet is designed for three things… well the THREE P’s: Pee, Poop and Paper! That’s it! If you do this, your recommended pumping service is every 3-4 year depending upon usage and occupancy at the home. If you are flushing wipes, we recommend every 1-2 years.

Stop flushing wipes down your toilet
Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson is the owner and CEO of Priority Pumping. She loves the wastewater industry and all of the opportunities for consumer education.

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