Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?

Apr 25, 2019

When plumber Rex Kinney gets a call about wet wipes, he knows the job is going to take a while.

Kinney, a master plumber with Jersey Plumbing Service in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has spent countless hours dredging up wet wipes from blocked sewers. He and his crew often spend three or four hours snaking one sewer, using a cable to drag up soggy clumps of wipes, pulling the wipes off the end and then sticking the cable back down into the muck.


“It's a fair amount of work and it's not too pretty looking,” Kinney told TODAY Home.

These days, wet wipes are everywhere, from baby wipes to cleaning wipes to pre-moistened towelettes meant for bathroom use.

Sales of personal wipes reached $2.2 billion in North America in 2015, according to the market research group Euromonitor International, and the market continues to grow.

Many wipes on the market are specifically labeled as non-flushable, while others claim to be “flushable” or “septic safe.”

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