News Briefs: Canadian Poll Shows Public Sides With Utilities on 'Flushable Wipes' Issue

Also in this week's sewer and water news, a South Carolina water utility threatens to sue a former board member for defamation after claims of muddy water coming out of taps

Friends of the Earth Canada is releasing a new poll on flushable wipes. With municipal expenditures to clean up wipes estimated in the past at $230 million rising now to $1 billion, the topic is clearly important to Canadians. Oracle Poll Research conducted the 2,000-person national poll on behalf of Friends of the Earth Canada in May.

The poll findings are good news for wastewater professionals with 91% indicating they trust scientists or wastewater engineers to provide them with credible information about whether it is safe or not to flush products labeled as “flushable” down their toilet.

On the flip side — Canadians clearly do not believe the manufacturers. Eighty-five percent say manufacturers of flushable products are the least credible when it comes to trusting the source of information on the “flushability” of disposable wipes.

“These findings are a vote of confidence by Canadians for the professionals who do the hard and dirty work of keeping our toilets flushing and water pumping and against the so-called ‘flushable’ wipes manufacturers and their ad agencies,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth.

Series of Pipeline Breaks Leaves Oklahoma Utility Crews Overworked

Utility personnel in Rogers County, Oklahoma, have been working around the clock since May 21 after a devastating series of pipeline breaks left the county’s four waters towers unable to fill.

The water treatment plant is running at full capacity, but that treated water is getting lost somewhere between the plant and the public.

“We have not really ever caught up because we’ve got pipe breaks that we can’t locate due to vegetation and still high, running water,” says the water district manager. “Yesterday, I had to replace 240 feet of 6-inch pipeline because the Verdigris River water was so strong that it eroded 45 yards of the east bank of the river and broke the pipeline. No more than I got that repaired then around 8 p.m. we had two more pipeline breaks.”

Water Utility Threatens to Sue Former Board Member for Defamation

The Jenkinsville (South Carolina) Water Co. is threatening to sue a former board member now serving on the Fairfield City Council after she made claims that she’s seen muddy water coming from the taps at her home.

A lawyer representing the utility says if Bertha Goins doesn’t provide facts to back up her claims or admit she has no evidence, the utility will proceed with a defamation suit.

Meanwhile, Goins says the water system is aging and needs improvement. “I’m not recanting anything I said,” she tells The Fence Post.


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