DEM: ‘Flushable’ wipes aren’t actually septic safe

Mar 19, 2020

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ With toilet paper hard to come by these days, many Rhode Islanders are turning to “flushable” wet wipes.

But the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is urging everyone not to actually flush the wipes because they do not break down as easily as toilet paper does.

The agency has already been contacted by several communities, including Burrillville, which says that the town’s pump stations keep getting clogged with wipes.

“As we are seeing in Burrillville, they can clog our sewer systems and cause pump station failures,” the R.I. DEM said in a statement. “In addition to causing clogs and wastewater collection system overflows, flushing wipes can also lead to sewer back-ups in basements and damage wastewater treatment equipment.”

So what should you do with them? The R.I. DEM said all types of disinfectant wipes, including baby wipes, should be tossed in the trash.

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