The mayor of Souris says disposable wipes are causing problems for Souris's sewage system and David MacDonald says it's costing the town thousands of dollars in repairs.

MacDonald said residents should be throwing the wipes in the garbage, and not flushing them down the toilet.

The town has sent out a notice to residents saying "Flushing that 'flushable' wipe?? Not so fast."

"Many people, myself included, were of the opinion of that, you know, these things can go down through the sewer system and there's not a problem," said MacDonald.

"Needless to say, I was quite surprised and I'm sure I'm not alone in that, you know I think 99 per cent who do flush these things were not aware that they were causing a problem."

Wipe Woes

Souris says disposable wipes are causing issues for the town's sewage system. (Julio Cortez/The Associated Press)

Danny Grant, the assistant maintenance operator with water and sewar in the town of Souris, said he's fairly confident wipes are causing the town's problem. "Tissue and women's feminine products they don't seem to give us as much of a problem as the wipes," said Grant.

"As a hands on person in the maintenance department taking the pump apart that's certainly what it appears to be ... but I guess if you wanted a definite answer you would have to take it to a lab and analyze it."

The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry {INDA} which represents hundreds of companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry said recently only a small percentage of wipes being sold are marketed and meant to be flushed.  

INDA says its tests have proven flushable wipes aren't clogging municipal pipes. They point the finger at baby wipes, hard-surface wipes and other non-flushable items.