A recent news article described an unfortunate incident that occurred at the grand opening celebration of a newly remodeled Colorado library: the library was forced to close two hours earlier than originally planned due to a messy plumbing backup. The culprit of the blockage remains a mystery, however it was mentioned that “a couple gloves and some handi-wipes were pulled from the pipes.”

A lesson to be taken away from this story: do not flush anything down the toilet that will not disintegrate. Some products are marketed as “flushable” but this is most often not the case. A simple test can indicate whether or not an item is truly flushable: fill two bowls with water and place toilet paper in one of the bowls. In the other bowl, place the “flushable” item. Swish both items in the water and wait an hour to observe the effect. Unless the item disintegrates at the same rate as the toilet paper, it should not be flushed down the toilet.

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