Parents in the small Minnesota town of Avon seem to be causing a major problem for the area’s sewage pipes. Town Superintendent John Forsell says he’s had to open the sewer cover on several occasions to fish out a large wad of baby wipes that have begun to clog the pumps. People, he has to use a crane!
“When these are wet and wound around something, they are incredibly strong," Forsell explained to CBS. "You cannot tear them with your hands."
He has sent out a flier to the community asking that only toilet paper be flushed down the toilets anymore, although some baby wipes do claim to be water soluble. The trick is to double check the packaging before flushing, but Forsell isn’t taking any chances. He says that if he had to replace an entire pump, it would cost the town $16,000, which would also come close to wiping out the entire year’s budget!
Other towns in the U.S. have had similar problems in the past, and according to a report by the Portland Water District, non-dispersible toilet cloths actually cause towns and cities an estimated $600,000 in damage each year!