Flushable Wipes Creating Messy Septic Issues - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Flushable Wipes Creating Messy Septic Issues

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by Chris Conte

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Flushable bathroom wipes have been advertised as a softer, more moisturizing way to get clean after going to the bathroom, but the wipes have created some serious issues in septic tanks across Middle Tennessee.

"These wipes are thicker than regular toilet cloth so they don't dissolve," said Ernie Anderson of Algood Sewer and Septic Tank Services. "The alcohol in it can kill the enzymes and bacteria in the tanks and that is what breaks the solid waste in the tank down."

Anderson said even though the wipes have been advertised as "toilet" or "septic" safe, they're actually much thicker and more difficult to dissolve.

The thicker wipes have been filling septic tanks up much faster than regular toilet paper.

Typically tanks only need to be emptied every four to five years at a cost of around $225. Anderson said he has seen some tanks fill up in less than two years.

In some cases, Anderson emptied septic tanks so filled with flushable wipes that they clog the pipes in his pump truck.

"It gets so thick when we're trying to pump it out, it would almost be to the point where we could dig it out," he said.

The use of flushable wipes in the U.S. has grown over the past year.

"It makes you feel cleaner," said Nancy Langford, who said she enjoys using wipes after going to the bathroom.

Anderson recommended disposing of the wipes instead of flushing them down the toilet.

Email: cconte@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ChrisConte
Twitter: Twitter.com/ChrisConte

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