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'Simply not flushable': Thousands of pounds of wipes clog sewer system

  • 25 October 2018
  • ckearns

Chelsea Robinson

Unbelievable images out of South Carolina show how wipes can wreak havoc on a sewer system.

WCSC reports baby wipes clogged a series of large pumps last week at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Charleston.

"...we sent divers 80-90 feet deep into the wet well/raw sewage to search in complete darkness with their hands to find and identify the obstruction. As we expected, they came up with these large masses of wipes in their first two loads, with more to come," Charleston Water tweeted.

Crews worked 24/7 to get those wipes out of the system. Three days later, the pumps were back to normal. WCIV reports thousands of pounds of baby wipes were collected.

One official told the Charleston Post and Courier that other items like tampons, string, hair and makeup pads contributed to the fatberg of baby wipes, oil, fat and grease, but wipes are a huge portion of the problem.

The company shared other pictures of blackened masses created by "flushable wipes."

Mike Saia, communication manager with Charleston Water System, told WCIV he hopes people take note.

"It boils down to the fact that 'flushable' wipes simply are not flushable, they may degrade overtime and they may go down your toilet, but they certainly will block up the plumbing in your home, and wreak a lot of havoc in our system, so we would really appreciate any change that people could make," he said.

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