The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed consent order against Nice-Pak Products Inc. was reached as part of a settlement with the company in May. The 30-day public comment period on the proposed order ended June 19, and the FTC will now decide whether to make the order final.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies has represented U.S. sewer agencies in discussions with wipes manufacturers since 2007.
DC Water and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which provides sewer services to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, say wipes clog sewer lines and break pumps because they don’t break apart like toilet paper. The wipes also contribute to blockages that cause sewage to overflow into streams and back up into basements, utilities say.
WSSC officials say they have spent $1.4 million to install grinders at sewage pumping stations, and DC Water has said it devotes hundreds of man-hours to removing stuck wipes and repairing broken equipment.