In a class action filed Monday, the city of Perry, Iowa alleges that “flushable” wipes are not flushable, and in reality are harmful to local sewer systems:
In order to maintain “wet strength,” and despite the Defendants’ claims otherwise, flushable wipes do not degrade after flushing. Rather, once in the sewer system, they ultimately wrap around structures within the system, such as filters or pumps, creating clogs and back-ups. In order to clear the clogs, the systems need to be shut down and the wipes manually removed
The Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (known as “INDA”) is the powerful trade association representing (and lobbying on behalf of) the non-woven fabric industry, i.e., Defendants. Without real input from the wastewater industry, INDA has developed industry friendly standards a product must pass before it is appropriate for a manufacturer, distributor, or seller to make the claim that the product is flushable . . . .
However, wastewater officials say that the tests developed by the INDA do not simulate conditions in real-life sewer systems . . . .
State officials and local sewer authorities have implored the manufacturers and sellers of these purported flushable wipes to remove the flushability claims from their marketing and product packaging because these products are causing damage to sewer infrastructure all over the United States and the world. These efforts have been largely rebuffed by the industry.
The case is before Judge Furman.