MENU

'Flushable' wipes clog Charleston Water System pipes again, and the photos are gross

Charleston Water System officials say this mass of baby wipes, including the flushable variety, caused a major clog in its sewage treatment plant. (Provided, CWS) 1.jpg
Charleston Water System officials say this mass of baby wipes, including the flushable variety, caused a major clog in its sewage treatment plant. (Provided, CWS)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - As far as Charleston Water System officials are concerned, there's no toilet humor in what's becoming a regular issue in the city's sewers and wastewater treatment plants.

Specialist divers on Monday made three separate dives into 80-90 feet of foulness the public can't even imagine to remove clogs utility officials say are caused by baby wipes, including so-called "flushable" wipes.

The wipes again were blocking pumps in one of Charleston Water System's wastewater processing tanks, causing backups, the agency announced on social media.

It's the second time in less than a year Charleston Water System has sent divers into raw sewage to clear blockages caused by wipes.

A previous backup in October 2018 also required three separate dives, yielding a mass of the wipes, as well as a baseball, a large piece of metal and other "non-flushables," CWS officials said.

Each time, divers have to feel there way in complete darkness through a river of excrement to find the clogs, and then remove them.

Charleston Water System officials want the nauseating images from these repair missions to serve as a warning not to flush wipes, even if the label does say "flushable."

"Just because a wipe says it's 'flushable' doesn't mean it breaks down before reaching our system," the agency said on its Twitter account Monday.

"When you flush anything besides (urine), (feces) or toilet paper, you're contributing to costly repairs to our infrastructure and risking sanitary sewer overflows."