Flushable Wipes in the River Toilet? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-12-2018   #1
 
Livenswell's Avatar
 
Edgewood..., Not New...Not Mexico
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Flushable Wipes in the River Toilet?

Anyone have any experience with whether or not the flushable wipes are OK to drop in the Eco Safe tank? I can see how they might be a problem when using a conventional RV type dump station that involves the hose etc., as any that are not fully dissolved might plug the drain hose as you are emptying the unit. But it seems that when using a SCAT machine you wouldnt have any problems with evacuating the tank as it empties the tank via the large access hole and has the interior high pressure spray nozzle that gets up in there and really hoses things out compared to the RV dump station method.

I had some appear in the tank on a trip last spring and it was a bear to get them out of the tank and down the hose at an RV dump station but I dont think they were the flushable type and they tended to clog the hose while trying to empty it. Wasn't fun...

So then if its not a good idea to put these flushable wipes in the Eco Safe, then what is the preferred method of keeping them out of the toilet? Someone has proposed keeping a trash bag near the toilet for folks who use the wipes to place the soiled ones and then I would assume that this would end up in the trash to haul out but that all seems like it could get nasty real quick.

Research on the Cottonelle Flushable wipes seems to indicate that they might dissolve well enough as toilet paper and thus might be OK to put in the tank just like toilet paper.

Any experience or advice on this would go far. Seems like folks like to use the wipes on longer term trips so the question has come up in our river crew about what to do about wipes. Thanks for any advice

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Old 01-12-2018   #2
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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I believe the keys are: flushable, ability to dissolve, add sufficient water. We have a River Bank, and have folks place the flushable wipes we provide, in the groover and monitor the
"soup"; keeping it sloshy helps dissolve the paper and wipes, never had a problem dumping and cleaning at city RV dump station and/or Cabelas. If you want to keep the
wipes out of the mix, hand out or have each person bring their very own, doubled zip lock bag for that purpose. A sprinkle of powdered cleanser in the bottom of the bag helps.
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Old 01-12-2018   #3
 
St. George, Utah
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Most rivers require that you only place toilet paper in the river toilet. The Grand Canyon regulations state that only toilet paper can go in the groover, no sanitary supplies, or wipes.

The reason for this is that the wipes, even those sold as flushable will not break down enough and will clog the SCAT machines.

When the SCAT machine is rendered unusable it is costly to repair and is a major problem for other users. I have had this experience with the Scat machine at Meadview when inconsiderate boaters clogged it up wipes.

I just hang a plastic shopping bag trash sack on the groover for people to dispose of wipes and sanitary supplies . It gets disposed in the trash box each morning.

Wipes are a major problem with municipal sewer systems as well, a Google search will reveal that they don't degrade very well.
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Old 01-12-2018   #4
 
Moab, Utah
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Poop Volcano

Do not put any form of wipes in your Groover! Not if you have any feeling for the person doing the clean-out after the trip.

I have had more than one experience of overflowing poop volcanos from a backed up sewer dump caused by wipes. It doesn't matter if they say they break down or are sewer safe, just don't put them in the groover. This has become a staple of my goover talk on each trip and it seems the hardest to get people to follow.

Only poop and poop covered toilet paper should go in your groover.



Side question:

What's the weirdest thing you've every found in the groover?

I once had fun fishing someones beer coozie out of the goover. Never did figure out if they'd used it to wipe or if it had just fallen out of their back pocket.
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Old 01-12-2018   #5
 
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Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrtsqurrl View Post
I once had fun fishing someones beer coozie out of the goover.
Yeah. That sounds like fun.
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Old 01-13-2018   #6
 
thornton, Colorado
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scrtsqurrl: side question

"What the weirdest thing you've ever found in the groover?" We heard a very loud scream comming from the groover area and ran over to find a wide eyed foot long green snake in the groover. We didn't know if the very loud scream came from the female passanger pulling her shorts up or the snake.
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Old 01-13-2018   #7
 
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lafayette or Grand Lake, CO., Colorado
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I have never had my eco tanks fail to empty a RV site so I luckily never had an occasion to look to see what's in it other than usual crap. Knock on wood that I never have to, YUCK. It is part of my prelaunch discussion of please do's and please don'ts.
SCRTSQURRL, I hope you were nice and able to get the coozie back to it's rightful owner without raising a stink of how it got in your groover.
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Old 01-13-2018   #8
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Don'teven flush them down the toilet

My salary comes from a municipal water and wastewater utility. Those wipes may say "flushable" on the label, but you should not flush them. They can clog screens in the collection system (sewer) or the treatment plant. They can get lodged in the collection system, build up, and create a blockage. They can accumulate fats and grease and be the beginning of a "fatberg." If you're on a municipal sewer, if the clog is in the mains, you only have to pay for a portion of the repair, through increased bills. If it's in the pipes on your property, you get to pay for the entire repair. If you are on a septic system... you know not to flush 'em.

It's actually even worse than that. With more efficient (use less water) toilets and other fixtures, drain line carry has become an issue in some circumstances. Australia has been dealing with this for years. Initially we assumed that our plumbing codes would limit this happening in the USA, but it's happening now. One culprit is actually toilet paper. Toilet paper has been getting stronger, and it doesn't always fall apart as fast as one might imagine. Multi-ply paper is worse, and anything that says something like "strong" or "quilted" is likely to be worse. The best option is toilet paper that's made specifically for RVs. It's designed to fall apart really quickly.

I'm trying to figure out an equation that when you get together X number of rafters, kayakers, and canoeists, it takes Y hours (or minutes) before the dialogue inevitably involves poop. The best I have so far is "sooner or later."
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Old 01-13-2018   #9
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Sooner...I think the answer is sooner. Right after the 1st (but far from last) conversation about coolers.

Flushable wipes are great for using as handy wipes or to clean your face and such at night before bed but they go in the trash or burned on the fire. They definitely don't belong in a toilet of any kind and especially not a groover.

If the owner of the groover is the one who brings them and will be the one dealing with the aftermath, then more power to them. That happened on a GC trip. They brought TP as well, and I mostly used that.

Its amazing the difference that premium vs economy toilet paper makes in how fast the Groover gets filled up. I bet you can add at least 10 user days to each vault with that decision.

So yeah... to beat a dead horse...flushable wipes aren't actually flushable. The companies who make them never checked with the people actually managing our sewer systems and got the OK (as far as I've heard at least) and I know they have been causing problems for many municipalities.
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Old 01-13-2018   #10
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Amette View Post
My salary comes from a municipal water and wastewater utility. Those wipes may say "flushable" on the label, but you should not flush them. They can clog screens in the collection system (sewer) or the treatment plant. They can get lodged in the collection system, build up, and create a blockage. They can accumulate fats and grease and be the beginning of a "fatberg." If you're on a municipal sewer, if the clog is in the mains, you only have to pay for a portion of the repair, through increased bills. If it's in the pipes on your property, you get to pay for the entire repair. If you are on a septic system... you know not to flush 'em.

I have been seeing this issue more and more often with vacation rentals, both on city sewers and septic systems..... don't put anything in a toilet (groover or otherwise) except human waste and toilet paper.
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