Will Coronavirus Bring Non-Flushable Wipes Into Wastewater Systems?

Among the surge in infected patients and quarantine orders, the current coronavirus epidemic may also introduce the rise of a less expected consequence: non-flushable wipes clogging wastewater systems.

As Americans disinfect their homes with baby wipes, antibacterial towelettes, and other sanitary products that purport or are wrongly thought to be flushable, they are introducing products that cannot be broken down in sewer systems and ultimately clog them.

“Many Americans seem to be following the recommendations of public health officials to clean and sterilize countertops, doorknobs, faucets and other frequently touched surfaces in their homes,” The New York Times reported. “The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.”


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