Cityscape

Macomb County Tired of Clearing Your ‘Flushable’ Wipes, Files Lawsuit


May 06, 2020, 1:45 PM by  Jack Thomas

It's Candice Miller's job to take your crap. But she doesn't want to take the buttwipes she says too often come with it.

A lawsuit filed by Miller, the Macomb County Public Works commissioner, targets nine major flushable wipe manufacturers, seeking that they stop adverstising their products as such.

Miller says that while the wipes can technically be flushed, the 4,000 pounds of wipes the department finds in its sewers each week stand to damage the system. 

“They almost get into a rope situation,” Miller said in a Wednesday video announcing the suit, twisting a wipe in her hands to demonstrate. “They’re chewing up all the pumps. They’re causing sewer backups.”


A lovely picture of what Miller is talking about. (Photo from lawsuit video)

The suit isn't intended to stop companies from manufacturing. Instead, Miller wants them to clearly label that the wipes should not be flushed. While the wipes may be able to make it down the drain, they’re not biodegradable, she said in the announcement.

Miller has crusaded on the issue of sewer backups ever since a 2016 Christmas Eve sewer collapse in Fraser cost Macomb County millions. She’s drawn attention to the “fatberg” phenomenon, massive clogs of wipes and grease that plague underground pipes. She even helped make it into a Detroit Science Center exhibit.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The announcement names these defendants:

  • Dude Products, Inc.
  • Nehemiah Manufacturing Company LLC
  • Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • Procter & Gamble Co.
  • Nice-Pak Products, Inc.
  • Professional Disposables International, Inc.
  • Rockline Industries, Inc.
  • S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
  • C.B. Fleet Company, Inc.



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