As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, people are making cleaning and disinfecting a priority. Disinfecting wipes are helping people combat the spread of germs, but some people are flushing used wipes rather than properly disposing of the wipes in the trash. These wipes can cause damage to sewer systems and equipment even if they are labeled “flushable” or “septic-safe.” This is leading to sewer blockages all over the U.S.
The National Cross Bore Safety Association has seen an increase in the number of reports of repairs involving drain cleaning activity in laterals and even in mainline sewer system pumps. These repairs often require digging, which increases the risk of “activating” an existing utility cross bore. A cross bore exists when two underground utility lines intersect or make contact with one another.
You can avoid costly repairs and help reduce the risk of serious damage or injury. Do NOT flush disinfectant wipes! Dispose of these types of wipes in your trashcan. Plumbers should always call before clearing to confirm a cross bore does not exist in the sewer line they are preparing to clear.