'Flushable' wipes cause havoc in NYC's plumbing and sewer systems

November 22, 2015

New York City's sewer pipes are flush with problems thanks to flushable wipes.

The amount of debris -- almost all of which is allegedly flushable wipes -- removed from the screens in the city's waste water treatment plants has more than doubled since 2008, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

"Sanitary wipes do not break down like toilet paper and they clog the screens at the wastewater treatment facilities," explained a DEP spokesman. How much does this cost our city? More than $18 million just in the last five years. Additional, unspecified costs are also incurred as a result of wipes jamming up pumps and gears that require repair, the spokesman added.

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