City Says "Stop Flushing Flushable Wipes" August 13, 2016 09:13

This piece by Trevor Hawes does a good job explaining what wastewater workers deal with when wipes are flushed - "wipes don’t disintegrate, even if the package states they will." Read on then get Etiquette's effective Toilet Paper Moistener for a truly flushable wipe for best bathroom hygiene and great skin care.

You flush them down to a pipe underground, and you never see them again. The city of Midland Water & Wastewater Utilities department, however, knows that even though you’ve flushed and forgotten, so-called wipes don’t disintegrate, even if the package states they will.

stop flushing wet wipes

Increased marketing to adults has resulted in the rise of sanitary wipe use, Director of Utilities Laura Wilson said. She gave a department update presentation Tuesday before City Council's biweekly meeting and addressed the issue of sewer line blockages made of solidified grease mixed with wipes. Wilson said residents might not realize how much grease they’re putting down the pipes because when grease is hot, it’s liquid. However, grease will turn solid at some point -- when it hits cold water in the P-trap underneath the sink or elsewhere down the sewer line.

“There’s always been issues with grease in sewer lines — it’s one of those things as old as time itself — but what happens is they get wrapped up and mixed in with wipes, and it creates a huge ball. Not only do they stop up our sewer lines, but they stop up the manholes and they stop up the pumps when they get to the sewer plant or lift stations,” Wilson said.

One way of getting its “No Wipes in the Pipes” message out to adults is to make children more aware of the issue.

“Whenever we go out to the schools, we tell the kids because kids are the best way to get to parents,” Wilson said.

Another way has been to include information on the last page of the annual water report, where a picture of a clogged sewer line makes clear just how severe the problem can be.

Wilson’s advice to residents is twofold.

In addressing grease down the kitchen sink drain: “The worst problem is day-to-day stuff where people are putting stuff down the garbage disposal and not realizing how much grease is in it. Anything that can go in the trash needs to go in the trash.”

When it comes to sanitary wipes: “The toilet is not a trash can,” she said.

Okay, "The toilet is not a trash can." So is Ms. Wilson advising that we put our used wet wipes in a trah can near our toilets? Please, who is going to keep the adult equivalent of a diaper pail near their toilet? Just get an effective toilet paper moistener. We know a company that makes a great one. :-)