Monday, September 12, 2011

Wet wipes and your septic system

Just a decade ago the only wet wipes were for baby’s bums.  Now with society’s need for cleanliness and convenience there has been an explosion of wipes for virtually every household chore and every part of the body.  There are wipes for:
  •     kitchen counters
  •     cleaning floors
  •     dusting
  •     facial cleansing wipes
  •     hand wipes
  •     car interiors
  •     pet paws
  •     clean wounds
  •     pain relief
  •     deodorant
  •     hot flashes

The main problem is that many wipes aren’t biodegradable.  While wipes are becoming popular, they might not be so popular in your septic system.

A recent Consumer Report put three wipes, along with toilet paper, through a disintegration test.  It simulates what may happen when flushing and gives consumers a look at how the product could affect their pipes.  Toilet paper tends to break down in about eight seconds.  In contrast, "flushable" wipes lasted well beyond 30 minutes.  These flushable wipes performed very poorly in their disintegration tests and may result in damage or back-up of your septic system. 

Even if the product packaging states “it is flushable” there have been reports of problems with septic systems where septic tank pumpers have found hundred of wipes matted together plugging baffles.  These products do not always break down quickly enough, especially if there are several people using the septic system.

You should be careful about what you flush down the toilet.  Feminine products should be wrapped and disposed of in the trash.  Facial wipes, baby wipes, tissues and paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet if you are on a septic system.

The best advise, to save on costly repairs is to only flush toilet paper down the toilet.

A wet-wipe filled septic system - courtesy of www.firstcallseptic.com

7 comments:

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