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News

 
 

“FLUSHABLE” WIPES ARE CREATING AN EXPENSIVE PROBLEM

Sewer Problems For Homeowners And Cities Costing Millions Of Dollars.

Disposable ‘Flushable’ wipes – basically baby wet wipes designed for grown adults – have become the major problem for residential and municipal sewer systems around the world because many “flushable” wipes are too strong and bulky for sewer systems. This is costing homeowners and cities millions of dollars.

Adults have begun using what they believe to be the same wet wipes once used for changing babies for their own personal sanitation needs, leading sewer problems for homeowners and cities costing millions of dollars.

For years, sewer pipes and machinery have been getting clogged by these nonwoven cloths, creating massive, expensive clogs in cities around the world like Seattle, Portland, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, London and just about any other populated place where flushable wipes are commonly used. The most problematic type of wipes are these personal wipes that adults are increasingly using in the bathroom.

As the use of personal wipes has expanded from infants to grown adults, a problem has emerged: most people do not keep a diaper pail in their bathroom and are of course reluctant to dispose of used wipes in their bathroom trash.

The majority of wipes sold do not biodegrade rapidly enough to avoid clogging and end up getting caught in the sewer pipe and machine surface imperfections.

“Flushable” Wipes In The News

Repeated headlines about horrifying septic system disasters clearly indicate that “flushable” wipes are in fact not flushable. For example, this huge “fatberg” recently dislodged from a Minnesota sewer caked in grease and fortified with wipes.

Over 18 million dollars has been spent by the City of New York on damages caused to their own sewer system by “flushable” wipes. “The city has spent more than $18 million in the past five years on wipe-related equipment problems, officials said. The volume of materials extracted from screening machines at the city’s wastewater treatment plants has more than doubled since 2008, an increase attributed largely to the wipes.” – “Wet Wipes Box Says Flush. New York’s Sewer System Says Don’t.

And a Consumer Reports 2013 analysis cautions against the flushing of ANY kind of wipe down a toilet. “Companies heavily advertise their flushable wipes. They sound so convenient. But plumbers make a lot of house calls that involve clogged toilets, backed up sewer lines, and flooded basements. Often the culprit is flushable wipes.” – “Consumer Reports: Are Flushable Wipes Flushable?

Not Safe For Septic Systems And Sewers

News and personal stories about expensive sewer line clogs have multiplied recently as more ‘flushable’ wipe products have become available. Manufacturers market their disposable wipes as “flushable” or “safe for septic systems and sewers,” but the reality of the situation has proven otherwise.

Because the wipes do not disintegrate easily or quickly, they clog sewage treatment equipment and sometimes home septic systems as well.

From manufacturer to manufacturer, the materials used to make “flushable” wipes varies, but most of them are strong enough to keep the wipe from disintegrating. The materials are very strong and fibrous. Even if the label indicates “flushable” one should always avoid flushing any type of wipedown the toilet. This will help prevent expensive clogs in your sewage system.

While the sewer industry and the Wipes industry work out a solution to this growing problem, you can avoid expenses and headaches caused by a clogged or broken sewer line with coverage from National Water Company.

COSTS OF SEWER LINE INSPECTION VS. SEWER LINE REPAIR OR SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT

While a timely sewer line inspection will typically cost somewhere between $225 and $300, if sewer line clogs are left unresolved, the resulting sewer line repair or sewer line replacement can cost between $8,000 and $20,000 or more.

Due to the risk of failure of these aged sewer lines and the high costs of repair or replacement, some cities are now making insurance policies available to their residents to deal with these expenses.

National Water Company, a well-established insurance company that carries a very strong policy specifically built to protect homeowners from the coming expenses of aging utilities.

Whether your home is 5 years old or 100, for just pennies per day NWC has an insurance policy that will cover the cost of sewer line pipe repair, as well as inspection and maintenance recommendations to provide additional peace of mind.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US TODAY

 

AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: THE AGING SEWER LINE

KEEP THE SEWER WATER AND WASTE OUTSIDE WITH SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE, PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

One of the most overlooked home maintenance tasks, sewer line inspection, can prevent unnecessary damage and expensive cleanup costs. If your drain or sewer line needs to be cleaned, do not wait and find out the hard way.

Sewer & drain line preventative maintenance efforts will help avoid most sewer line issues caused by root blockage. Just like other systems in your home or building that require regular care & maintenance, drain and sewer lines are no exception.

Small openings at joints are inherent in older residential concrete and clay sewer pipes. When a tree’s root system finds these entry points the sewer lines ability to carry water and waste to the city sewer conveyance system is greatly reduced leading to unexpected clogs and overflows into the home.. Having found water and nutrients in great supply the tree roots will continue their invasive growth into the piping. In some cases, roots can be discouraged using chemical treatments but annual sewer line auguring will be a must to prevent backups into your home.

SEWER LINE REPAIR OR SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT IN OLDER HOMES

Blockage of a sewer line from tree roots is a common and costly problem when maintenance is ignored. This is especially true and urgent in older cities and neighborhoods of the Pacific Northwest.

“Across Seattle, the risk of breaks in side sewers is high primarily because of their age: About half of Seattle’s housing was built before 1961, according to the Census Bureau. Tree roots and soil conditions also pose potential threats.” – Sanjay Bhatt (2016, Feb 27). A dirty secret: Side sewers can become a homeowner’s nightmare. Retrieved from https://www.seattletimes.com

Tree roots can grow quickly in rainy, temperate areas, and can often lead to premature failure of drain and sewer lines. Allowing roots to overwhelm the sewer line before removal can cause premature pipe failure and very expensive emergency repairs.

BUYING AND SELLING A HOME

The condition of drain and sewer lines can be a costly surprise when buying or selling a home.

In most states, when selling a purchasing a home, a full inspection of a homes septic tank and its drain field must be completed before the sale can be completed. However, while many buyers assume that the sewer line would also be included, there are few states that specifically require an inspection of the sewer line before closing. For example, many cities in California have recently started to require sewer line inspections before a home sale can be completed. (Santa Barbara for example)

This requirement is not consistent in every state, so it is very important that an inspection of the sewer line be done before selling or purchasing a home to safeguard against unexpected and costly repairs.

“You don’t have to tell us twice that a sewer issue can quickly turn into a stinky situation. Standing water in the yard, signs of flooding in the basement, and heaved walkways are telltale signs of a blockage or break in the underground sewer line that connects to the sewer main in the front of a home” – Cathie Ericson (2018, Sept 18. 5 Red Flags That Could Sink a Home Inspection. Retrieved from https://www.realtor.com

COSTS OF SEWER LINE INSPECTION VS. SEWER LINE REPAIR OR SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT

While a timely sewer line inspection will typically cost somewhere between $225 and $300, if roots are allowed to continue invasive growth, the resulting sewer line repair or sewer line replacement can cost between $8,000 and $20,000 or more.

Due to the risk of failure of these aged sewer lines and the high costs of repair or replacement, some cities are now making insurance policies available to their residents to deal with these expenses.

National Water Company, a well-established insurance company that carries a very strong policy specifically built to protect homeowners from the coming expenses of aging utilities.

Whether your home is 5 years old or 100, for just pennies per day NWC has an insurance policy that will cover the cost of sewer line pipe repair, as well as inspection and maintenance recommendations to provide additional peace of mind.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US TODAY

 

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