Flushable/Disposable Wipes Program

 

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s (ECUA), Flushable Wipes Program is a commitment to protect the environment from Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) through community awareness.

 

Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?

            Bathroom wipes marketed as "flushable" are costing cities across the country hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the problem is growing locally. ECUA reports the wipes are clogging up the sewer system at an unprecedented rate and is a leading contributor to sewer repairs. 

            ECUA is alerting the public on the danger of flushing personal wipes, which can potentially create a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO), a condition whereby untreated sewage is discharged into the environment prior to reaching wastewater treatment facilities. ECUA has devoted hundreds of man-hours to dispatch crews to unclog pipes, repair broken sewer lines, and to replace and upgrade machinery.


                            

 

 

Click Here to listen to Flushable/Disposable Wipes Audio Interview

 

The Facts…

            Consumer Reports checked out four flushable wipes from Cottonelle, Charmin, Scott and Equate. They all say they're flushable and make claims like "sewer and septic safe" and "breaks up after flushing."

            In Consumer Reports' standard tests, toilet paper breaks down quickly. But when testers ran the same test with the flushable wipes they didn't break down at all. Consumer Reports gave up after ten minutes. Testers even ran them for ten minutes in a mixer-the wipes still didn't break apart.

            The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), which represents hundreds of wastewater agencies, reports it has been hearing complaints about wipes from sewer systems for the last four years.

            Common Flushed Items: Baby wipes, dental floss, disposable diapers, nursing pads, disinfectant wipes, facial wipes, band-aids, swabs, condoms, cotton balls, flushable toilet cleaning sponges, tampon applicators and multi-ply toilet paper.

            So if you are using wipes, please don't flush them down the toilet (even if the manufacturer says it's okay).

            What’s a consumer to do? You don’t have to stop buying the wipes just make sure you toss them out in the garbage instead of sending them through the ECUA sewage system.

 

For a list of items that shouldn't be flushed  Click Here