Wipe out: Another Minnesota city joins lawsuit over 'flushable wipes'

Author:
Updated:
Original:

They may be labeled "flushable," but the city of Princeton, Minnesota, says a number of "wet wipe" products are anything but – and are in fact clogging their sewers.

That's why the city council there voted to join a class-action lawsuit originally filed by Wyoming, another city in Minnesota, where the wipes are apparently causing problems, according to HometownSource.com.

The news site says there are complaints about the wipes clogging the filtering screens of the city's sewage system, leading to "system shutdowns" until workers can remove them manually.

This mirrors the charges Wyoming leveled against six manufacturers of the products in its lawsuit, which it filed in a federal court in April.

City leaders have said that, despite the way they're marketed, the wipes do not degrade after they're flushed down the toilet, and create down-the-line problems that can potentially end up costing taxpayers "thousands, if not millions, of dollars of damages."

However, one of the companies being sued – Kimberly-Clark, maker of Cottonelle wipes – maintains it conducts extensive product testing and stands by the wipes' "flushability."

ConsumerReports.org did a quick video test to see how the wipes break down compared to toilet paper.

A wider problem

According to court documents posted by KSTP, Procter & Gamble and Nice-Pak Products, Inc. are among the six defendant companies named in the original lawsuit.

Wyoming filed it on behalf of "others similarly situated" by the purported flushable wipes problem; the document shows the town shares a wastewater treatment facility with Chisago, Lindstrom, and Stacy.

But these cities certainly aren't the first to complain – in March, Wadena said the wipes were causing backups in their sewage system as well.

And Minnesota apparently isn't alone.

According to a 2013 NBC Today report, the wipes are posing a problem around the country, with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies – a group that represents 300 treatment facilities – saying that they'd been hearing complaints about the products for years.

Next Up

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Related