The Environmental Services Department in Arcata, CA issued a press release on October 20th following a dramatic increase in sewage clogs last year. The press releases stated, “Thirty percent of sewage overflows in Arcata last year were caused by residents flushing disposable wipes, such as sanitary wipes, baby wipes or household cleaning wipes, down the toilet.”
Service officials issuing the press release warn that even though a wipe is labeled as flushable it can still get caught in sewage pipes. Additionally, they don’t disintegrate as well as normal toilet paper does. Nasty clogs can cause overflows into backyards and homes and require a plumber to extract the mass.
Not only do the wet wipes harm residential properties but the ones that make it all the way to the treatment facilities still end up doing severe damage to waste water treatment plants that aren’t equipped with machines like sewage grinders and screens. Clogs at wastewater treatment facilities are extremely costly and require a staggering amount of labor to remove and deal with each day. Not to mention, when a pipe becomes clogged at the treatment plant, it requires servicing which can send it out of commission for a period of time.