In this week's water and wastewater news, the FBI is investigating the wastewater treatment division of Terre Haute, Indiana; and the 'flushable' wipes industry is lobbying Congress to reverse a law in D.C.

The wastewater treatment division of Terre Haute, Indiana, got a recent visit from FBI agents, who displayed a search warrant and took away more than 30 boxes of files from its administration building.

FBI public affairs specialist Chris Bavender confirmed to the Tribune-Star that investigative activity was occurring, but wouldn’t indicate the reason for the search.

The city has committed to invest nearly $270 million into its sewer and wastewater treatment infrastructure in five phases, the last of which is slated to occur in 2028.

Related: News Briefs: Water Bill Relief Coming for Winter-Weary Residents

Source: Tribune-Star

'Flushable' Wipes Industry Lobbying to Reverse D.C. Law

The so-called “flushable” wipes industry is lobbying Congress to reverse a law in Washington, D.C., that currently regulates the wipes because they case damage to the city’s sewer system.

The companies that manufacture the wipes will be required to either prove the products labeled “flushable” don’t cause damage or clearly indicate the wipes shouldn’t be flushed.

Related: News Briefs: ‘Salty Roads, Salty Water’ Say Water Utilities

However, there is growing concern that a lawmaker could take a backdoor route to reversing the regulation by attaching a rider to an appropriations bill and bypassing the D.C. Council.

Source: The Washington Post

Aldi Withdraws Line of 'Flushable' Wipes After Customer Outrage

In another toilet wipes case, Aldi has announced the withdrawal of a line of “flushable” wipes after hearing backlash from customers and water authorities.

Related: News Briefs: Air Force Fuel Spill Headed Toward Municipal Wells

The wipes were about to hit the shelves when a regulator from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission raised concerns that shoppers were not happy with the decision to sell the product.

“We welcome Aldi’s swift action in addressing our concerns,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. “The ACCC is also speaking with other industry players regarding similar products sold in Australia which make a ‘flushable’ claim.”

Source: Daily Mail Australia

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Public Utility in New Mexico Pledges $1 Million to Protect Headwaters

The largest water authority in New Mexico has pledged $1 million to the Rio Grande Water Fund in an effort to protect source water that serves nearly half the state’s population.

“This is a huge deal,” University of New Mexico Water Resources Program Director John Fleck told News Deeply.

It’s a large contribution for a public utility to make, and it’s a unique way for it to invest in lands it doesn’t own but still has a stake in.

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The Rio Grande Water Fund is a public-private partnership that aims to protect San Juan-Chama and Rio Grande watershed lands.

Source: News Deeply

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