ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – Flushing your toilet may seem like a harmless act. But, if not handled responsibly could cause a headache for your city’s infrastructure. Darren Black of Black Plumbing said the popular “flushable” wipes are in fact not flushable. “They’re better off to be disposed of in a trash container or another way,” said Black.
And these wipes are not only hurting home and business owners’ plumbing systems. Kelley Waller is the fat, oils and grease manager for the city of Abilene’s water and sewage department. She said city workers have noticed the increase in the use of these wipes in the past year, as they have clogged the sewage system across town. “We’ve been noticing an increasing number of our overflows are including wipes and paper towels as well as grease, and so it’s just kind of compounding the issue,” said Waller.
Although not the most glamorous topic, Black and Waller said this problem is not unique to Abilene with water and sewage departments across the country up in arms about these wipes. “The municipalities are dealing with this in a really really bad kind of way,” said Black. “It gets into the city mains. It stops up their pumps hese wipes are not designed to go through the pump system.” The city has even begun a campaign called “Keep Abilene Flowing” to encourage citizens to find other ways of disposing wipes and other obstructions including grease. “Basically, especially when [flushable wipes] combine with the grease-that just gives something else for the grease to stick to, and then plus whenever the grease coats the wipe, then there’s no way it’s ever going to dissolve,” said Waller.