As any parent will tell you, antibacterial wipes (or baby/wet wipes as they are known in Australia) are a godsend for parents of babies and toddlers. These small sheets of moist fibres are not exclusive to parents of young children; teenagers use them frequently for various purposes and there are now sanitary wipes available for all ages as an alternative for dry toilet paper. Whilst some of these products are actually marketed as flushable, recent research has revealed that these wet wipes are causing major issues in our wastewater systems.
According to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), wet wipes, even though claiming to be flushable, are simply not suitable to be disposed of in our plumbing systems. An astonishing one in four people in metropolitan areas are flushing wet/baby wipes down the loo and roughly 75% of reported sewer blockages in major cities are the result of wet wipe accumulation. (www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/beauty-and-personal-care/skin-care-and-cosmetics/articles/flushable-wipes)
The main reasons to not flush your baby/wet wipes down the toilet include:
- Environmental Hazard
- Pipe Blockages = Big Problems = Big Costs
- Wipes are Now #1 for Blockages
Wet/baby wipes do not break down like toilet paper does. They are designed to be much stronger and therefore take significantly longer in the biodegradation process. The chemicals used in the manufacture of these wipes contributes to water pollution and the fibrous paper itself simply adds to waste product in our wastewater system. If these wipes aren’t removed in treatment facilities, they are flushed out to oceans and creeks, causing major environmental hazards.
Pipe Blockages = Big Problems = Big Costs
The removal of large clumps of accumulated baby/wet wipes in plumbing pipes is labour intensive and very unpleasant. The wipes not only build up quickly to form a mass that is very difficult to break down, but other waste products get catch up in this blockage. As such, plumbers are well within their rights to charge accordingly and when you are frequently flushing baby/wet wipes down the loo, these blockages can occur way too often, resulting in plumbers being called and big bills being accumulated. Avoid large, costly plumbing bills by placing wipes in the rubbish bin, not the toilet.
Wipes Are Now #1 For Blockages
According to the ACCC and numerous residential plumbers, wipes are now the biggest cause of household plumbing blockages in Australia. Although so many are labelled as flushable, the truth is that they do not break down adequately and are causing detrimental blockages and damage to residential plumbing. In some reported cases, pipes have even burst, resulting in costly repair bills for not just the pipe repair, but the water damage to the home.
I Think I Might Need To Check For Baby Wipe Blockage! Who Can Help Me?
The team at Mainline Plumbing and Cheap Hot Water and Gas have seen it all when it comes to plumbing blockages. They are your local, reliable professionals, servicing the South West for over 35 years. Call the team on 9791 1608 today to arrange a free quote to inspect your pipes if you think you may have flushed too many baby/wet wipes down your plumbing pipes.