A problem has arisen involving “flushable” wipes. Certain moist towelettes are being marketed as flushable and claim to be safe for sewer and septic systems. However, all over the country consumers and sewer authorities are actively voicing their dissatisfaction with the excessive plumbing costs associated with these “flushable” wipes. Reportedly, homeowners are incurring hundreds of dollars in extensive repairs just to unclog plumbing and fix septic tanks. Consumers have reported even seeing wastewater backflow into their home through showers and sinks. Even if consumers correctly follow the disposing directions on the “flushable” wipes packaging and flush one wipe at a time, it’s said that they are still experiencing plumbing issues.
Not only is it causing problems for consumers’ homes but also for utilities. In the past five to six years, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has spent more than $18 million in order to manually remove “flushable” wipes from the sewer system, according to Deputy Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. When the department looked at the sales of “flushable” wipes, there was a direct correlation between the increase in “flushable” wipe sales and an increase in clogging issues within its sewage treatment facilities. Although “flushable” wipes are supposed to biodegrade quickly, they are causing millions of dollars of damage to both consumers’ and city plumbing systems. Sapienza reported:
The word ‘flushable’ means it won’t clog your toilet or your house, but when it gets to a sewage treatment plant, the wipes wrap around the equipment, shuts it down, and then the treatment plant workers go and manually pull these wipes out.
The agency suggests that consumers refrain from flushing these wipes and instead dispose of them in the garbage.
Lawyers in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section recently filed a class action against Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Rockline Industries, Inc. on behalf of two consumers harmed by the wipes. If you need additional information on this subject, contact Rhon Jones or Chris Boutwell, lawyers in our firm’s Toxic Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@BeasleyAllen.com or Chris.Boutwell@BeasleyAllen.com.
Sources: Class Action News and ABC News
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