Swipe left on ‘flushable’ wipes. Why a bidet seat could save your bottom line

Now that we’re past the pandemic-induced anxiety over toilet paper, there might be a lingering problem in your bathroom: flushable wipes.

They might say “flushable” or “septic safe,” but Consumer Reports warns any type of wipe can wreak havoc on sewer and septic systems because they don’t break down like toilet paper does.

JEA has been warning neighborhoods for years. The wipes bind with other materials like grease creating what’s called a “fatberg” -- which can lead to disasters like sanitary sewer overflows. One particular fatberg in November in the Jones Creek area of Jacksonville (pictured) was as wide as a manhole.

This JEA photo shows a fatberg that JEA found in November 2020 in the Jones Creek area. It was as wide as the manhole. This particular fatberg created a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO). This fatberg was composed of wipes, grease and other materials. (Provided by JEA)

RELATED: JEA’s ‘What Not To Flush’ list

Consumer Reports says there is another option for people who prefer that fresh and clean feeling you get from wipes.

“Bidets are having their moment,” explained Consumer Reports Home Editor Haniya Rae.

She says the initial cost of a bidet seat might be a little steep but worth it. Wipes are certainly cheaper than getting a bidet, but some of the plumbers Consumer Reports spoke to said wipes are prone to clogs, even the flushable ones.