'Flushable' wipes clog sewers

May 24, 2021

While they do disappear down the drain when flushed, that's when the problems start.

According to Ken Johnson, general manager of the Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility, these wipes are made with synthetic materials that won't break down and end up clogging the sewers, which has become an escalated problem in Pine Bluff since the coronavirus pandemic.

"The companies that put these wipes out, they give the impression that it's OK to flush them down the commode," Johnson said, "and with the pandemic, due to the shortage of hand cleaners, folks have somewhat got accustomed to using these wipes in lieu of hand cleaners and then they discard them down the commode."

Johnson said these practices create hazardous conditions and considerable expense, and he is pleading for Pine Bluff to stop flushing wipes. The reason, he said, is because sewer systems were designed to handle two things -- human waste and toilet paper.

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