Water Sector News & Trends

Jefferson County warns against flushable wipes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County officials are warning you not to flush those so-called flushable baby and facial wipes as they are causing serious problems for the county’s multi-million dollar sewer system.

For years, we have warned homeowners about dumping grease down the sink clogging up your pipes and the county’s pipes. Well another contributing factor are baby and facial wipes.

The bad news - some claim to be flushable, but Jefferson County leaders say they are not and are creating headaches for their sewer service.

A recent test of 23 flushable wipes revealed none passed the test and created problems for plumbing and sewers. The wipes are apparently clogging Jefferson County’s pumps. If the pumps foul up, that creates problems for water treatment and the eventual release of water back into the environment. The problem can also create sewer overflows and threats to the health of a neighborhood.

“We have pumps in the county that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. As they collect around the pumps, it will create problems and ultimately bring down a pump,” said Tony Petelos, Jefferson County Manager.

Many are hoping more regulations will be put into place to stop some manufacturers from making these claims and creating these problems.