Raleigh Government: Flushable Wipes Aren’t Flushable And Clog Sewers, So Cut It Out

Sewer lines in Raleigh, N.C. keep getting clogged. What’s to blame? Aging infrastructure? Rapid population growth? Massive sale on prunes at a local grocery chain? Well, not really: officials say that the latest clog, and a few previous ones, are allegedly due to huge wads of non-flushable paper in the pipes. They point specifically at non-flushable “flushable” wipes marketed for cleaning home surfaces and people.

Wet wipes manufacturers belong to a trade association, INDA, or the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry. (“INDA” stands for “The Indestructibles Association,” which isn’t really an acronym, and isn’t such a good name when they’re trying to promote how their products totally break down in the sewage system.) They insist that products marketed as “flushable” really do break down in the sewage system, despite what the city of Raleigh says. The association even has detailed flushability guidelines and testing to make sure that companies are consistent and don’t just slap a “flushable” label on everything they sell that fits in a toilet.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, officials blame a wad of wipes for a spill of almost 40,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby creek, and want residents to know that flushing paper towels and wipes is bad.

Raleigh says paper towels and flushable wipes caused sewer spill [News-Observer] (Thanks, Jules Noctambule!)
Flushability [INDA]