International Flushability Group Meets to Discuss Specifications for Wipes

(July 16, 2020) – The International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG) held its annual meeting virtually on July 1 to discuss potential updates to its Flushability Specifications. The specifications were published in 2018 to provide a method for evaluating whether wipes and other products labeled “flushable” are safe for sewer systems. Problems caused by improperly flushed consumer products are experienced by water utilities worldwide, resulting in clogs, overflows, and billions of dollars in maintenance costs every year.

The IWSFG discussed recent research and testing related to flushability, including a study in Ireland confirming that flushed wipes are a source of plastic microfibers in the aquatic environment. Ongoing tests in several countries are also providing additional information about the factors influencing wipe behavior after flushing, particularly how much and how quickly wipes break apart in the sewer system. The IWSFG will continue to evaluate how this information relates to the flushability specifications and whether updates to the specifications are needed. 

NACWA is the US voting member of the IWSFG, and the Association continues to engage with other groups within the US and worldwide as part of its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign.  NACWA members with questions can contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.