With TP running low, city says to be careful what you flush

By Adam Strunk

Flushable wipes are a lie.

Well, at least in the City of Newton’s eyes.

As time passes and stores continue to remain without toilet paper, concerns grow at the City of Newton office about people’s alternative wiping methods.

“We want to get the message out that the only things appropriate the flush down toilet are bodily functions and toilet paper,” Communication Director Erin McDaniel said. “Any product that says quote unquote flushable wipes should not be flushed.”

Those wipes have caused clogs in the past in city pipes. That can make for a headache for city crews or a headache for home owners.
“They may go down your toilet but don’t dissolve as quickly as toilet paper and are prone to causing clogs that will in turn cause back ups,” she said. “It could be in your house. It’s not something you don’t want to be dealing with right now.”

Chris Frazier of Star Drain Cleaning in Newton, said they’re not seeing more clogs than normal right now, but they are seeing more clogs associated with flushing the wrong items down the drain.

“I have seen more clogs due to baby wipes even an occasion wash cloth here or there.”

Frazier gave some tips to avoiding those situations. “What would help prevent that is maintain your sewer lines,” he said noting that people should make sure the lines are clean of tree roots. “Two don’t flush any of those foreign objects, female hygiene products or, paper towels.”

He said thick toilet paper brands also tended to cause clogs.

McDaniel said all items outside of bodily excrement and toilet paper should be disposed of in the trash.

“We’ve been putting out this message for years–ever since the flushable wipes became a popular product,” she said. “Right now, since we’re seeing the dramatic shortage of toilet paper in our stores, it seems wise to remind people of this.”

If you’re out of toilet paper, below is a list of other makeshift items, all of which you shouldn’t flush. If you’re to the point where you need to go foraging, remember, leaves of three, let it be.

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