Streams

Not-So-Flushable Baby Wipes

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Baby wipes that are marketed as "flushable" may not be, after all. In a story first reported on WNBC-TV, New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, which manages the water and sewage system, said that the wipes don't break down, and are clogging the city's aging pipes.

Deputy Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said managers at sewage treatment plants have to remove tens of thousands of wipes a day, costing the city $2 million a year in labor and equipment. It's a cost that is passed on to property owners.

"I pay a water bill, I don't use baby wipes, but part of my bill goes to pay for the disposal of those flushable wipes," Sapienza said.

Sapienza said the city and other jurisdictions have reached out to makers of baby wipes to find a solution to the problem.

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