After severe sewer backups, tests show Cottonelle wipes currently meet ‘flushability standards,’ according to Charleston Water System

Local News

Cottonelle Flushable Wipes provided by Kimberly-Clark

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Test results from Charleston Water System show Cottonelle’s flushable wipes currently meet ‘flushability standards’ and are safe for the local sewer system.

Leaders with CWS say personal care wipes have caused major impacts to the utility’s system.

“These impacts can include sewer system blockages, sewer equipment failures, interference with wastewater treatment processes, the need for increased maintenance, and sewer overflows,” the utility company said.

In October 2018, wastewater employees at Charleston Water System’s Plum Island facility worked to unclog a massive number of wipes – divers went 80-feet into raw sewage where they discovered mounds of flushed wipes clogging the system and causing back-ups.

The utility provider has since launched a campaign urging people not to flush their wipes because of the issues they can cause.

Independent testing for Charleston Water System by so-called ‘flushability experts’ found Kimberly Clark’s flushable wipes – specifically the Cottonelle flushable wipes – dissolve better than other flushable wipes and by a wide margin.

Results found the Cottonelle wipes “meet a modified version of a standard for flushability developed by the national municipal wastewater industry.”

LINK: Cottonelle wipe passed the IWSFG 2020 standard of 80 percent dissolvability.

Support for the municipal flushability standard includes the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the nation’s leading municipal wastewater association.

Kimberly-Clark has also officially agreed to several years of ongoing independent testing to verify that its flushable wipes will continue to meet the national municipal sewer treatment industry’s flushability standard.

Now, Charleston Water System is calling on other flushable wipe manufacturers in the United States to produce personal care wipe products that meet or exceed the national municipal wastewater industry’s flushability standard.

Cottonelle Flushable Wipes provided by Kimberly-Clark

“Until that happens, CWS intends to continue to challenge those manufacturer’s misleading claims about the suitability of their various wipes for introduction into public sewer systems.”

Kimberly Clark will adhere to that industry standard by May 2022.

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