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Baby wipes may clean your backside but the mess down below is another story

BRADENTON – Bradenton has a cheeky problem to deal with and the city wants to get to the bottom of it, ensuring it’s an issue wiped away while providing relief to its sewer system.

Ironically, a product designed to get yourself clean is creating the mess: baby wipes.

A large clump of wipes is being blamed for causing a break to an 18-inch sewer line in Ballard Park on Tuesday, sending 80,000 gallons of waste water into the stormwater system and ultimately into Ware’s Creek.

It’s easy not to put a lot of thought into what happens after a toilet is flushed, but what’s left behind begins a journey through a complex system of pipes and lift stations.

In some cases, whatever was just flushed has a 10-mile journey ahead of itself as it travels toward the waste water plant. While you can flush away your metaphorical problems, residents are being asked to be more cautious in what they physically send down the drain.

Baby wipes are advertised as “flushable,” but flushable doesn’t mean it will dissolve. It only means it can fit down your drain without clogging up your toilet. Once in the sewer system, however, the baby wipes have a knack for finding each other, creating larger clumps capable of stacking up within the system.