'Flushable' wet wipes clogging up pipes
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- More people are skipping old fashioned toilet paper and are turning to wet wipes. Sales are up 14 percent nationwide. The labels say they're flushable, but people who clean the pipes in cities and septic systems say that's not the case.
Once they're flushed, they end up in the sewer or your septic tank.
Scott Krassow cleans septic tanks and says the 'flushable' wipes can clog up the pipes.
"They get caught inside the house and caught inside the pipes and cause back ups into the house and stuff like that and clogging up the field systems," said Krassow.
Workers are finding that they're not biodegradable and ultimately don't dissolve.
Krassow sees it all the time. He says homeowners are the ones who end up paying to pull all of those wipes out of their pipes.
"Anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand. Just depends on how much of the septic they ruined," said Krassow.
For those who don't have a septic tank, their waste ends up in a wastewater facility.
Karl Kopec, the manager of Mishawaka's waste facility says they see everything from wet wipes and mop pads in their system.
"It's something we have to deal with but we have to do it. But that may mean calling people in on holidays, thanksgiving, Christmas, or call people in for overtime," said Kopec.
It would cost the city thousands of dollars to upgrade the pumps to handle this growing trend.
So what should you do? Even if the wipes say they are flushable, just put them in the trash to avoid any problems.