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We know, we know. The package says “flushable.” And technically, those wipes are “flushable” – in the sense that they will flush down the toilet. But so will golf balls, Legos, plastic army men, pens, etc., but you probably don’t want those in your plumbing.

The problem with “flushable” wipes is that they don’t dissolve and get stuck in our pipes. In other words, even though they’ll go down the toilet, they’re not truly flushable because they don’t disintegrate.

Toilet paper is engineered to very quickly and easily break down into watery, runny slop when it’s wet, which is the only consistency that is safe for pipes. It’s why it’s called “toilet paper.” “Flushable” wipes, on the other hand, absorb liquid (think paper towel) and don’t break down, contributing to enormous back-ups.

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When a “flushable” wipe, tissue, paper towel, golf balls or any other substance that isn’t toilet paper goes down your toilet and doesn’t back up into your home plumbing (which also happens and can costs thousands in repairs), it gets stuck somewhere down the line in our City of Casper’s sewage pipes. These substances, along with grease and other gross stuff that shouldn’t go down the drain, construct what the plumbing industry calls fatbergs, which can be extremely damaging to property and expensive to the City to remove.  

Fatbergs


Fatbergs cause City sewer lines to back up, which can cause result in wastewater backing up into your basement, your neighbor’s basement, or overflow onto neighborhood streets. City of Casper Wastewater Collection Officials estimate that emergency and daily maintenance costs associated with wipe removal are around $270,000 annually – a cost that could be significantly reduced or maybe even eliminated.

Besides trashing and not flushing these wipes, the next best thing you can do to help City plumbing infrastructure is to tell your friends and family. It’s understandable for people to flush wipes that say “flushable” on the package, so help us spread the word to keep backups out of your basement and theirs.