The National Association of Clean Water Agencies added a blog post on Dec 3rd describing the attributes of toilet paper that make it compatible with the sewer system and stating anything that is going to be labeled flushable needs to meet those same standards.
In order for both wastewater system operators and wipes manufacturers to agree on a definition of what is “flushable” they will need to work together on developing tests that will prove the product breaks apart like toilet paper.
There are no clear answers to these questions yet, but the wastewater industry will be working with the nonwoven fabrics industry starting next year, with the goal of completing new flushability guidelines expected in mid-2016. There is also an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) workgroup that is currently developing technical specifications for flushable products.
NACWA’s post seems to indicate the wastewater groups and wipes manufacturers will continue working together in order to develop the standardized tests and guidelines for flushability.
NACWA warns however, until wipes makers meet the TP standard, the wastewater community is going to continue to preach the 3PS – pee, poo and toilet paper.
Two interesting standards NACWA lays out in their post – the wipe must break apart in 60 minutes or less and the wipe must not be buoyant. Okay wipes makers – let’s get innovating and produce a sewer and septic safe product!