Flushable wipes have become quite popular. Like most new products, wipes that are flushable provide an extra layer of convenience. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t take advantage of this personal convenience if you own a septic tank. When it comes to septic tanks, there is no such thing as a “flushable” wipe. Whether it is a baby wipe, feminine wipe or makeup remover, if it says “flushable” on the package, you can’t trust it for your septic system. The truth is, only human wastes and single-ply toilet paper should be flushed into your septic tank. Anything else can cause disruptions in your system and result in costly backups.
What Happens When You Flush Your Wipes
As you probably know, when toilet paper comes into contact with water, it instantly starts to break apart and deteriorate. This specific “weaved” makeup is what makes standard toilet paper so biodegradable – and safe for your septic tank. Wipes, however, are not fabricated like toilet paper.
A Wet Wipe is designed to retain its moisture. When these products hit the toilet water, they get even more soggy, but they stay solid. This means you are flushing clumps of non-waste paper products into your pipes and septic tank. The bacteria in your septic tank can finish breaking down organic toilet paper and human waste, but it cannot degrade the cotton, rayon and plastic resins that are found in “flushable” wipes. In other words, the wipe you flushed down your toilet will remain in your septic tank.
Over time, flushable wipes will accumulate in your tank and form a large mass within the solid sludge layer of your tank. To avoid backups, your septic tank will need to be pumped much sooner than expected. The cost of more frequent septic pumpings will far outweigh the convenience of flushing wipes down your toilet.
At Metro Septic, we understand your septic tank and what it does and doesn’t need to function best. Just because a product is marketed as “flushable,” doesn’t mean your septic system is able to handle it. When in doubt, always call our septic experts to ask.