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Don’t flush any wipes — save our pipes

February 26, 2016

Pre-moistened body and sanitary wipes are gaining popularity, which is unfortunately correlated with a rise in damage to plumbing pipes and costly repairs as a result of these wipes being flushed down toilets. Over the past year, ANMC and other regional hospitals and clinics have had several plumbing clogs, as well as sewer drain damage to village sanitation systems.

The most frequent cause of the clogs has been masses of moistened “flushable” wipes. Many brands of these wipes are marketed as being flushable, but that is not the case. It is never safe to flush a pre-moistened wipe— even if the label says the wipes are flushable.

Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate in water, making it fine to flush down the toilet. Moistened wipes; however, are not designed the same way and do not disintegrate in water, often times clumping together in masses and forming a clog.

If you are a patient or visitor at ANMC and have to use pre-moistened wipes, throw them in the trash. If you would like the trash removed from your room immediately, you can call Housekeeping at extension 3092 from any phone and staff will come and discreetly take your trash away.

ANMC staff has been trained to throw away the wipes in the trash instead of flushing and reminders are posted around the hospital for visitors. We recommend that other hospitals, clinics and even homes do the same to prevent the hassle and expense of clogged pipes or a damaged septic system.

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