Have you ever thrown a wipe in the toilet and wondered should you have done that? Well whether it is a baby wipe, a make-up wipe or cleaning wipe, the bottom line is that wipes should never be flushed down the toilet. So why should wipes not be flushed in the toilet?
Wipes don't break apart
Unlike toilet paper which usually disintegrates within 24 hours, wipes don’t break apart or dissolve when they are flushed. Wipes actually stay more or less intact even after months in the drains so they should be thrown in the bin and not the toilet.
Wipes block drains
One of the top reasons for a blocked drain is wipes. When you flush a wipe, it enters your household drains and often gets stuck with the FOG (fat, oil and grease) from your kitchen which is already lurking in your drains. Add in more wipes over a period of time and more FOG from the kitchen and you quickly end up with a nasty blockage in your drains.
A Water UK study in 2017 investigated over 50 sewer blockages and discovered that the majority of the material recovered was made up of “non-flushable wipes that are not designed to be flushed”. Baby wipes were the biggest culprit accounting for 78% identifiable mass by weight with cleaning wipes, cosmetic wipes and feminine hygiene products being responsible for the rest of the blockages.
Flushed wipes lead to expensive repairs
As a homeowner, you may have to call D&J Drain Services out to remove the blockage in your drains from flushed wipes and there will be a cost for doing this. But what happens when wipes reach the main sewerage system? According to UK Water, a staggering £90 million was spent by the water industry in 2018 on clearing blocked drains alone.
Flushed wipes damage the enviroment and even our health
Data from the 2017 Great British Beach Clean Report compiled by the Marine Conservation Society revealed a startling 94% rise in the number of wet wipes found on UK beaches. Marine wildlife can mistake wipes for food along with the toxic chemicals and bacteria which can attach to them on their journey down the drain. Most wipes are actually made from polyester and the microplastic from them could potentially end up in the food chain which could damage our health.
So what's our advice?
Think twice before you flush a wipe down the toilet – please don't put a wipe in the toilet but put it in the bin instead. Our advice is to stick to flushing the three P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper) and bin anything else.
But if you have a blocked drain at your home or business, please call us immediately on 07925 153826 so that we can remove the blockage as quickly as possible.
With high pressure water jetting, we will be able to clear the blockage quickly and safely as well as carrying out a CCTV survey to see if there are any other problems in your drains. If you live in the country, your septic tank may need emptied too and we can help with that too.