Flushed Baby Wipes Cause Sewer Problems In Brownsburg

(BROWNSBURG) – Sewers are overflowing in Brownsburg, and now the town is looking to fix a problem they said is being caused by the bathroom habits of residents.

Kathy Dillon, Brownsburg’s wastewater superintendent, spoke in front of the town council earlier this month. She said people are flushing baby wipes down the toilet. They’re causing problems at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

“I got out there and baby wipes have wrapped perfectly all up and down that sensor system in there, and so the lift station thought it should be pumping all the time, but it was actually dry to the bottom. Which will burn up our pumps and that’s a $15,000-20,000 pump sitting down there.” said Dillon.

The sensor system she’s talking about tells the system weather it should are should not be flowing based on how much water is coming into the plant.

Ben Ratcliffe, a Brownsburg resident, said that he regularly uses wet wipes for his three-year-old son and flushes them.

“We don’t even think twice about it, Ratcliffe told WISH-TV. “It’s like wet toilet paper that doesn’t fall apart when you get it wet. I mean, they say ‘flushable’ so I didn’t worry too much about it.”

Matt Harrold with Chapman Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing says they get calls from people all the time who have clogged pipes from this very problem.

“They’re all going to come together as one mass and then they get to a pumping station and they can wrap around the pumps and get caught in a pump,” said Harrold. “The wipes really should be thrown in the trash. They say they’re flushable and they will flush but they will create a problem.”

It’s because baby wipes don’t break down in water like regular toilet paper, said Harrold.