’Flushable’ wet wipes cause sewer backups, MSD says

Plumbers urge people to only flush toilet paper down the toilet
Plumbers urge people to only flush toilet paper down the toilet(NBC12)
Published: Apr. 4, 2020 at 9:56 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With toilet paper in short supply due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are turning to alternate sources as toiletries. However, the Metropolitan Sewer District is saying that flushing inappropriate items is causing sewer backups.

'Flushable’ wet wipes are being used more often due to the shortages of toilet paper. MSD said that these wipes are a problem for the sewer system because while they claim they are able to be flushed, they don’t dissolve like toilet paper and cause sewer backups.

“They twist becoming stronger in a mass, blocking sewer lines and damaging pumps," MSD Collections System Director Marc Thomas said in a release.

According to MSD, wet wipes cause around 60 percent of the clogs that employees have to repair daily.

As well as wet wipes, residents are urged to throw away other objects that are often flushed, including dental floss, paper towels, hair and tissues. Sewer backups can be caused by any item that is not waste or toilet paper.

MSD said that if residents do experience a sewer backup to call (502) 540-6000. If the problem is within MSD’s system, it will be fixed at no cost to the caller.

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