Wipes in the pipes snarling sewers

July 17, 2013
USA Today

They are touted as disposable and even flushable, but disinfecting wipes are causing headaches for operators of city sewer systems.

The products appeal to consumers in part because of manufacturers' claims that they can be conveniently flushed down the toilet. But their cloth-like material doesn't break down in the sanitary sewer system like toilet paper and can block sewer lines, clog equipment and increase cities' maintenance and repair costs.

Public works managers say the problem has worsened in recent years because more such products are available on the market and consumer demand for antibacterial products is growing.

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