Flushable baby wipes clogging Dover Township sewer system

DOVER TOWNSHIP,  York County -- Officials at Dover Township Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility say "flushable" wipes are causing issues and more than $100,000 in damage and repairs.

 Experts say wipes including ones marketed as flushable  are clogging their sewer systems and causing major issues.

“It makes it’s way through the piping in the system but once it the plant that’s where we really see the problems," Tony Biese, Superintendent, Dover Township Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Thousands of pieces of of wipes have been getting stuck around mixers leading to equipment failure.

“When they get covered we lose an efficiency that mixer does not mix as well as it did and we are using more energy," said Biese.

Tony Biese who supervises the facility says they are having a severe inflow and infiltration issue.

Most recently -- an aerator shaft at the facility broke down.

Biese says all of that is putting the treatment process at risk.

“When this is not working effectively we are not treating the sewage effectively and that could compromise the quality of water leaving the plant," he added.

Local plumbers say they are also seeing issues at homes.

 “A wipe gets stuck on the rusty walls and then the food deposit gets in and then another wipe comes and another wipe comes and it has no where to go," said Jay Jones, Plumber with Speedy Rooter.

Jones says those  jobs can run anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars depending on the amount of wipes that have to be removed and work that goes into getting pipes unclogged.

“Who knows how many wipes I’m going to pull out of there while I am doing it so it would be so much cheaper for you just to throw them in the trash can than to put them down the toilet," said Jones.

FOX43 reached out to other municipalities throughout our area — most told us they, too have experienced issues due to ‘flushable wipes’.

Dover Township officials say are asking people to think twice and consider tossing wipes in the trash.

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