Flushable Toilet Wipes May Cause Serious Plumbing Problems
Last Updated on January 11, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects
- Property owners who experienced plumbing problems after using flushable wipes.
- It is believed that "flushable" wipes may not break up in water, despite being labeled as biodegradable and sewer and septic safe.
- Clogged pipes, septic backups, low water pressure and high utility costs.
- Kleenex Cottonelle, Charmin, Wet Ones, Equate, Kirkland and others.
- What Can I Collect?
- Those who used flushable wipes may be able to seek compensation for plumbing services and any other household damages from clogged pipes.
Consumers who experienced plumbing problems after using “flushable” toilet wipes from brands including Kleenex Cottonelle, Charmin, and Wet Ones may have legal recourse. Many of these wipes are marketed as being “flushable,” suggesting that they will break up in water the same way toilet paper does; however, consumers and sewage officials nationwide have complained that these wipes are not flushable, and are actually clogging pipes and causing extensive problems for septic systems.
Attorneys are currently investigating whether the manufacturers of these flushable wipes may be held responsible for misleading consumers into believing these wipes are flushable.
Tests Show Flushable Wipes Do Not Break Up in Water
ConsumerReports.org tested four brands of flushable wipes – Kleenex Cottonelle, Charmin, Scott, and Equate – to see if they broke up in water and were sewer and septic safe, like their labels stated. When the wipes were immersed in water for 10 minutes, they showed no signs of dissolution. Traditional toilet paper, which was put through the same test, broke up and dissolved within seconds.
In another test, wastewater treatment employees in Vancouver, Washington dyed Kirkland flushable wipes bright colors and let them flow through the city’s sewage system for about one mile. When they checked the sewage route further down the line, the brightly-dyed wipes had not disintegrated and were blocking sewage pumps.
Flushable Wipes Cost Property Owners Hundreds in Sewage Services
Consumers have reported many issues with their plumbing systems after using flushable wipes, including low water pressure, high utility rates, clogged pipes, septic backups and septic system failure. According to these complaints, property owners have spent between $190 and $400 for plumbing services to remove the wipes from their pipes. One homeowner claimed that he spent more than $2,000 replacing 20 feet of piping that had been clogged by the flushable wipes.
Although most consumers claim they used the wipes sparingly and over the course of several months before noticing any plumbing problems, some reported clogged pipes after using just one “flushable” wipe.
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