HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – With toilet paper becoming a rare find in stores, households are using alternatives like baby and flushable wipes.
Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority demonstrated how toilet paper and its alternatives break down in water by sealing, shaking the product for 30 seconds, and letting the jar settle.
Toilet paper, tissue, paper towel, baby wipes, and Clorox wipes were all compared.
“This is just after 30 seconds, but you can see that the toilet paper has already started to break down like it should,” said Neeraj Patel, Chief of Field Operations.
All alternatives were too strong to completely dissolve.
Patel says the department has kept flushable wipe samples in jars since 2018. While the products are advertised to be safe for plumbing, Patel says not quite.
“They’re still somewhat intact,” said Patel, “We are seeing an increased amount of paper products into the sewer system that are potentially clogging the system.”
Right now water and sewer crews are working to clear lines to prevent future, costly back-ups.
Officials say people at home can help by throwing all wipes in the trash.
“The only things that should go down the toilet are number one, number two, and toilet paper,” said Patel.