Popular bathroom wipes blamed for sewer clogs

«Previous
5 of 8 Photos
Next »
Read the story
Wipe Woes
«
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
  • Wipe Woes
»
Wipe Woes
In this photograph taken, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, in Middlesex, N.J., a wipe is put through a machine that tests the strength of wipes in active water. At that point, the wipe had been in the moving water for 15:51 hours and the wipe was still holding its shape. Increasingly popular bathroom wipes _ thick, premoistened towelettes that are advertised as flushable _ are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation. The problem has gotten so bad in this upstate New York town that frustrated sewer officials traced the wipes back to specific neighborhoods, and even knocked on doors to break the embarrassing news to residents that they are the source of a costly, unmentionable mess. An industry trade group this month revised its guidelines on which wipes can be flushed, and has come out with a universal stick-figure, do-not-flush symbol to put on packaging. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)