Okatie, SC; June 9, 2021 – Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) is among many sewer utilities that have struggled for years with clogs, equipment failures and sewer overflows due to unsuitable personal care and other wipe products being flushed into their municipal sewer systems.
Recently, Charleston Water System (CWS) and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KC) reached an agreement wherein, by May 2022, KC’s Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes will adhere to a standard for “dispersability” developed by the municipal wastewater industry. This move helps to minimize impacts to public sewers, reduce sewer treatment costs and sewer overflows. KC produces Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes in South Carolina at their Beech Island plant in Aiken County.
Based upon independent testing performed for CWS, it appears that KC’s Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes already dissolve far more readily than other so-called “flushable” wipes tested by experts on behalf of the Charleston Water System. KC will bolster its commitment by agreeing to several years of independent testing to verify that its flushable wipes continue to meet the sewer treatment industry’s flushability standard.
KC also agrees to critical public education steps, including product-labeling specifications for both its flushable and non-flushable wipes. This labeling program will facilitate public understanding as to which of KC’s wipes are safe to flush. BJWSA encourages other
US-based wipes manufacturers to follow this industry-leading labeling program.
BJWSA calls upon all other flushable wipe manufacturers in the United States to follow KC’s lead and to commit to produce personal care wipe products that meet the municipal wastewater industry’s flushability standard, or to cease labeling their products as being “flushable” or “safe for sewer systems.”
“We applaud the Charleston Water System for their work with Kimberly-Clark in taking this giant step that will result in cost savings and protect the environment,” says BJWSA General Manager Joe Mantua, PE. “This action opens the door for others to help eliminate an industry challenge we have faced for many years.”