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Wipes flushed in toilets cause big waste spill in Michigan small town

Wipes flushed in toilets cause big waste spill in Michigan small town
October 19, 2020 The Associated Press

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — Small town, big mess.

Baby wipes clogged the wastewater system in Beulah in northern Michigan, causing a backup of 10,000 gallons of human waste from a manhole, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

The spill was on the grounds of the village’s wastewater treatment plant. Superintendent Brady Streeter said it was cleaned up within a few hours Monday.

“Wipes are a recurring problem for sewer or septic systems,” said Scott Dean, a spokesman at the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

Indeed, in May, Macomb County in suburban Detroit said it had been removing 4,000 pounds of wipes a week at one pump station. Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller wants Congress to talk to manufacturers and take action.

Miller said so-called flushable wipes aren’t breaking down.


Learn more about fatbergs on Great Lakes Now:

Slow Legislation: Flushable wipes become an issue in court and in law

Epidemic of wipes and masks plagues sewers, storm drains

Fatberg Quiz: Which fatberg are you most like?


Featured image: A disposable wipe, still intact after being tested for flushability. (Photo courtesy of Ryerson University)

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