Slow Legislation: Flushable wipes become an issue in court and in law

Read the full story at Great Lakes Now.

Fatbergs — massive buildups of wipes and hygiene products congealed with greases and oils — make for a cringe-worthy topic. And the damage they cause to sewer systems can be a huge amount of trouble for the people in charge of those sewer systems.

That includes Candice Miller, the Public Works Commissioner in southeast Michigan’s Macomb County. A giant fatberg there cost the county upwards of $50,000 in removal costs in 2018.

Fatbergs have appeared in England and Australia (where they’re called “ragbergs”) and all around the U.S. and Canada.

One of the main ingredients for these fatbergs is wipes—both flushable and non-flushable.

Their prevalence, in part, prompted Miller to file a suit in Macomb County Circuit Court in early May against nine different manufacturers of so-called flushable wipes. Her suit alleges that wipes that aren’t labelled “flushable” do not disperse in water quickly enough to be considered septic-safe or flushable.

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