Ignore the hype, don’t flush the Wipe

Wipes plugging a pump

If you work at a wastewater treatment facility, you know better than to flush a toilet containing anything that isn’t water, human waste and toilet paper. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the general public. Everyday material such as baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, cotton swabs, diapers, bandages, and cleaning wipes get flushed down the toilet; even more so if the manufacturer has labelled it as flushable. This garbage causes blocked sewers which can lead to sewer backups, flooded basements and raw sewage discharges to our rivers, creeks and streams. All of which are extremely costly to municipalities and their ratepayers.

The Association of Non-Woven Fabrics Industry (INDA) represents manufacturers and has provided them with guidelines to determine the “flushability” of a product. These guidelines are voluntary and the testing of these “flushable” products is performed in-house by the manufacturers. There is no external third party testing to ensure that the products will disperse (breakdown) in the sewer systems and no standard set of test methods that are used by every single manufacturer. Work was attempted on an ISO specification for flushables and was nearing completion when it was halted by a challenge from another ISO technical committee concerning test methods.

At that time wastewater associations joined together to form the International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG).

This informal coalition put together a position statement on non-flushable labelled products which is now supported by wastewater services in 25 countries and by over 300 stakeholders.  The IWSFG has also developed Flushable Product Specifications that would be acceptable to wastewater services.

It is MESUG’s goal to get these specifications adopted into a regulation on what can be deemed a Flushable product.

Let’s collectively put an end to the treatment of our sewer systems as garbage cans!

“This issue will impact our future generations financially and environmentally if we do not make changes to treating a toilet like a garbage can.” (Barry Orr, MESUG Spokesperson).
Wipes Ruin Pipes – Marketing Proposal
Strategic Marketing Plan 
Ignore the Hype Don’t Flush The Wipe
Labelling Code of Practice Compliance Report for baby wipes 
Keep Your Toilets Happy (MESUG & Nathan T Wright)
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Inappropriate disposal of ‘flushable’ consumer products – reasons for concern
What2Flush Fact Sheet

Brochures & Posters






Small Business

Toilets are Not Garbage Cans


Want to get involved?

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