Toilet paper. One of the simple luxuries of modern, civilized society.
If you have ever traveled to a third world country, you have probably
discovered what a wonderful thing toilet paper is. But if you spend much
time around plumbers, you will probably discover what a wonderful thing
toilet paper isn’t.
So, is it true? Does toilet paper really lead to plumbing problems? Unfortunately,
the answer depends greatly upon the surrounding circumstances.
Then how can you as a conscientious consumer keep your paper and avoid
Keep an eye on quantity – Here is one of the biggest factors (no pun intended) in whether or not
your toilet paper will cause issues: quantity used. If you use a minimal
amount of paper between flushes, your system (and any system down the
pipes) will likely suffer little to no damage. If however you enjoy using
half a roll at a time, be prepared for the impending consequences…frequently.
Pay attention to how quickly it dissolves – For this one you may have to do a bit of research. Eco-friendly studies
and consumer reports have a great deal to say on which brands of toilet
paper dissolve the fastest, and therefore are the least likely to cause
problems. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the paper is, the longer
it will take to dissolve.
Avoid flushing “flushable” wipes – Flushable wipes are the bane of sewage workers across the country. Consumers
may rave about the fresh, clean feeling they leave behind; but sanitation
workers complain about the “softballs” later. Disposable wipes
tend to gather as they travel, creating a softball-like wad of unruly
and un-dissolvable material. This translates into time consuming and costly
problems. If the collection happens to be in your piping, be prepared
for a problematic bill.
So, do toilet paper and plumbing problems go hand in hand? Without moderation
and careful consideration, yes.