What a bummer! 'Flushable' wipes blamed for sewer woes

September 24, 2013
Today Money

Increasingly popular bathroom wipes — pre-moistened towelettes that are often advertised as flushable — are being blamed for creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the U.S. 

Wastewater authorities say wipes may go down the toilet, but even many labeled flushable aren't breaking down as they course through the sewer system. That's costing some municipalities millions of dollars to dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and to replace and upgrade machinery. 

The problem got worldwide attention in July when London sewer officials reported removing a 15-ton "bus-sized lump" of wrongly flushed grease and wet wipes, dubbed the "fatberg." 

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