CONTRA COSTA CO. (KCBS)— Those handy wipes used for disinfecting your office space or picking up kitchen spills are causing back ups in sanitation plants in the Bay Area.

Melody LaBella with the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District said many of these wipes are supposed to be flushable.

“The reason they’re a problem is that they don’t break down as quickly as toilet paper and that’s really the standard for flush-ability, as far as we’re concerned,” said La Bella.

One man said he’s guilty of flushing because of the way they’re advertised. Now there’s a movement to get those labels changed to put an end to consumer confusion.

LaBella said it takes many man hours to unclog sewer pumps and clean the screens at the treatment plants.

They can also have an impact at your home where tree roots commonly break sewer lines.

“You add some roots and a wipe; it’s a formula for an overflow, ya know? We really need to just keep human waste and toilet paper in the toilet. Everything else should go in the trash,” said LaBella.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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