Even as public health officials are urging everyone to help stave off the coronavirus by cleaning surfaces with disinfecting wipes, water officials are emphasizing that an increase in the number of people flushing wipes, paper towels, and facial tissue down the toilet can overwhelm plumbing pipes, sewer systems, and wastewater treatment plants, causing additional problems for homeowners, renters, businesses, other government and private entities, and the environment.
WHY NOT FLUSH?
According to the California Water Resources Control Board, it’s important to throw wipes, paper towels, facial tissue, and other cleaning materials into the trash, not into the toilet, because these products are not as water-soluble as toilet paper (aka bath tissue), and are designed be thrown out or recycled, not flushed.
Even wipes that claim to be flushable shouldn’t be flushed, as they can clog plumbing pipes and sewer systems, and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating additional public health risks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Board states.
Neither plumbing pipes nor sewers are intended to handle wipes, paper towels, or even facial tissue, none of which are designed to break down in water the way toilet paper does, and therefore can easily clog these systems.
THE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Wastewater facilities throughout California are reporting issues resulting from this widespread practice, especially in metropolitan areas, where centralized sewage collection systems rely on gravity and sufficient water flow to move along human waste and biodegradable toilet paper.
Where wipes, paper towels, and facial tissue create backups, overflows can spill into lakes, rivers and oceans, making the impact on public health and the environment even more severe.
COUNT ON US TO HELP
Call Magnificent Plumbing & Rooter immediately if you’re concerned about your home’s plumbing as a result of flushing inappropriate materials down the toilet. A small investment now can help you avoid much costlier repairs later. We’re always here to help.