Cities Join Flushable Wipes Class-Action Lawsuit

More cities join a class-action lawsuit aimed at eliminating the flushable wipes problem in municipal wastewater systems.
Cities Join Flushable Wipes Class-Action Lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit originally brought by the City of Wyoming, Minnesota, is gaining momentum. Several cities, including Holmen, Wisconsin, and Princeton, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Perham and Elk River, Minnesota, have joined the lawsuit, which says the manufacturers of flushable wipes are responsible for damage to municipal sewer systems and wastewater plants.

The lawsuit, filed on April 23, names six wipes manufacturers. Aside from monetary retribution, the lawsuit requests the companies cease marketing the disposable wipes as “flushable.”

The complaint states that manufacturers are aware of the harm wipes cause to sewer systems and wastewater treatment facilities, and yet the companies “continue to manufacture and promote them as flushable.”

The complaint also states that despite many notifications from state and local sewer authorities throughout the United States, the manufacturers have not removed claims regarding the flushability of the wipes.

Other cities, such as Wadena, Minnesota, are considering joining the lawsuit.

“Usually every time we do have a blockage or an emergency call like this, we do run across these items in there,” says Wadena Public Works Director Dan Kovar in a Grand Forks Herald article.

On its website, Kimberly-Clark, which is named in the lawsuit, states it is “committed to helping consumers understand what is and is not safe to flush and will continue to work closely with industry groups to ensure that accurate information is promoted.”

The Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA), which provides guidance to the nonwoven/engineered fabrics industry, is expected to release a new flushability standard by July 2016.

Source: Star News 


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