Flushable bathroom wipes, such as Kimberly Clark’s (KMB) Cottonelle wipes, are being blamed for clogs in sewer systems.
The bathroom wipes, which have been gaining in popularity since they were introduced, are often advertised as being flushable, but they aren’t breaking down after they enter sewers. In one New York community, sewer officials set up traps to catch the wipes. After locating what houses the wipes were coming from, officials would write letters and make in-person visits to try and convince people not to use the wipes. Manufacturers of the bathroom wipes are insisting that their items aren’t the problem. They claims that other items, such as paper towels, feminine products and baby wipes, are to blame for the clogs. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which handles sewers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Md., have spent over $1 million dollars during the last five years to install grinders in the sewers, reports the Associated Press.
A 15-ton collection of fat and baby wipes, called a “fatberg”, was found in a sewer in Britain earlier this year.