Stop Flushing Wipes And Paper Towels Down The Toilet, You’re Going To Clog Your Pipes And Cause A Fecal Tsunami

Don't flush wet wipes or paper towels down your toilet because it could clog the pipes.

iStockphoto / nito100

I don’t know what ya’ll were doing before the pandemic as far as cleaning your ass, but apparently, the current worldwide health situation sparked a renaissance in chocolate starfish sanitation. People are literally fighting one another like gladiators battling to the death for their freedom in the Colosseum.

People are stockpiling toilet paper as if we were 15 minutes from nuclear winter, and they just ate three barbacoa pinto bean burritos at Chipotle. TP bandits stole a tractor-trailer with 18,000 pounds of toilet paper in North Carolina last week. Now, sewage treatment plants are forced to issue warnings to the public about flushing wet wipes and paper towels down the toilet after a spike on non-toilet paper being used to clean their Hershey Highway.

Toilet paper has been selling out in stores because of the recent panic-buying caused by the outbreak. Some people were not able to get their hands or buttocks on toilet paper and are using wipes, paper towels, napkins, and even t-shirts to scrub their bunghole. Sewage treatment facilities around the country are experiencing an uptick in materials that could clog pipes.

The California State Water Resources Control Board issued a warning on Twitter last week.

“The public advised NOT to flush disinfecting wipes, paper towels down toilet – throw them away instead! State’s wastewater treatment plants may get overwhelmed, Consumers may face In-home plumbing backups and blockages,” the tweet read.

“We understand due to high demand toilet paper might not be available,” the Needham Department of Public Works wrote on Twitter. “Please do not flush wipes, even if they say they are flushable, they are not.”

Even if the wipes say “flushable” or “septic-safe” on the packaging, please do not dispose of them in the toilet. They are still too thick and can cause sewer blockages.

“When a product is labeled ‘flushable’ it generally means that it will clear your toilet bowl,” the New York City Department of Environmental Protection said on its website. “It does not mean it will definitely clear your pipes or break down in the sewer system or at a wastewater treatment plant.”

While toilet paper dissolves and breaks down easily in the sewer system, that is not the case for wet wipes and paper towels. You should also avoid pouring congealed grease and cooking fat down the drain since it can mix with the wipes and paper towels to create a rock-hard substance called a “fatberg” that clogs pipes.

Fatbergs were a massive problem for Britain in the 2010s after these rock-like masses clogged aging Victorian sewers. One gigantic fatberg in London weighed over 140 tons and was over 820 feet long. Fatbergs have crippled other sewer systems in New York City, Denver, Valencia, and Melbourne.

UK sewer systems get clogged from fatbergs, masses of congealed grease and fast with wet wipes and paper towels.

Getty Image / ADRIAN DENNIS / Staff

Wastewater treatment plants warn that you should only flush the three “P’s,” pee, poop and toilet paper. Which is really three “P’s” and a “T.”

That means don’t wipe your butt with t-shirts and then flush the newly-browned fabric down the shitter. People shredded t-shirts and were using them as toilet paper. A very shitty idea.

Wastewater management officials in Redding, California, said workers had to take “swift action to prevent a dangerous spill after the soiled fabric caused a backup,” according to Action News Now.

“The pumps were clogged by what appeared to be shredded T-shirts that were used in place of toilet paper,” the city said. I was wondering where all those “San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl LIV Champions” T-shirts went.

And you might not only be causing the pipes to be clogged, but you may also be creating a health hazard as a tsunami of fudge sludge into your own home.

“Clogs in the sewer system can cause fecal matter to back up into showers, toilets, and sinks,” the waste management company said. “During this time
of self-quarantine, unnecessary backups would not be able to be addressed as promptly.”

So don’t flush wet wipes down the toilet. Nobody wants backed-up pipes.