Popular Wipes Blamed For Sewer Clogs

BEMUS POINT, N.Y. (September 23, 2013)--Bathroom wipes, those pre-moistened towelettes often advertised as flushable, are rising in popularity and causing bigger and bigger headaches for sewer system operators across the country.

Wastewater authorities say wipes may go down the toilet, but even many labeled flushable aren't quickly breaking down, which is costing some municipalities millions of dollars to dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and to replace and upgrade machinery.

Manufacturers insist wipes labeled flushable aren't the problem, pointing instead to such products as paper towels, feminine hygiene products and baby wipes clearly marked as non-flushable.

The complaints have prompted a renewed look at solving the problem.

The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry recently specified seven tests for manufacturers to use to determine which wipes to call flushable.

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