Why Shouldn’t You Flush Wet Wipes?
Just because the packaging on your wet wipes says flushable, it doesn’t mean you should! Even though the manufacturer claims that the wipes are safe for your drainage and we assume that they would disintegrate over time just like tissue paper, the fact is the damage they can cause before disintegrating is not worth the time saved flushing them rather than disposing of another way.
Wet Wipes Don’t Break Down!
How long do you think wet wipes can stay in your own drainage system after you flush them? The answer may shock you. Sure you flush the toilet and they get sucked down and then you forget it ever happened, but those wipes could still be there months later. The fact is that they just don’t break down easily. You may get away with flushing one wet wipe, you may get away with flushing two or three. But getting into a habit of flushing wipes will eventually catch up with you.
Wet Wipes Stick Together
Have you heard of the term fatberg? It is a drainage term to describe an iceberg-like formation made up of fat, grease, grime, dirt and debris. London’s city-wide drainage has famously had some enormous fatbergs over the years, some reaching sizes bigger than buses! Given that we know that wet wipes don’t disintegrate like paper you can imagine what would happen if a wet wipe gets caught onto a fatberg. It clings on and doesn’t let go, just continually added weight and size to the problem.
Whilst we can remove fatbergs from drainage systems, they can be costly and the extent of the problem is unknown until you start to deal with it.
Recent Blocked Drain Job
We recently attended a property that had a blocked toilet and drain. Without needing the CCTV Drainage Survey we could already guess what the cause of the problem was. Flushable wipes were being flushed and causing a blockage. This is not entirely the fault of the property owner, they were under the impression that flushable wipes were not an issue to their drainage – after all the packaging says it is safe for flushing.
Shortly after this job, we came across another wet wipe blockage! Look at how many wet wipes stayed in the system after being flushed!