News Briefs: Alabama Officials Speak Out Against 'Flushable' Wipes

Also in this week's sewer and water news, Ohio launches a new grant program that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in water infrastructure

Utility leaders in Alabama are waging a public relations war against so-called “flushable” wipes after a media outlet attributed some stormwater overflows in the region to face masks being flushed.

In recent interviews with, spokespersons from Daphne Utilities and the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System are saying the real offender is flushable wipes.

“Wipes are still our No. 1 we try to point out, but we find other things in the lift stations,” Monica Allen, spokeswoman with MAWSS told the news organization. “We find light bulbs. You would not believe everything we find.”

Samantha Coppels, spokeswoman with Daphne Utilities, told it’s an industry-wide problem. “When there are heavy rainfalls, we will see heavy flow coming in. We need these pumps on. When one pump is not working and it cannot do what it can when it’s 100% operable, it could lead to overflows.”

The issues in Alabama prompted the environmental group Mobile Baykeeper to issue a news release blaming flushable wipes for overflows in 2020.

New Water Infrastructure Grant Program Unveiled in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced the launch of a new grant program that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the future of water infrastructure across the state.

The Ohio Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Grant Program, which is part of DeWine’s initiative to strategically invest in Ohio’s future, is open to public and non-public entities that operate water systems across the state, with emphasis placed on addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged communities.  

“It is wrong that there are places in this state where clean water is not readily available, where sewage systems are crumbling, and where much-needed improvements are long overdue,” says DeWine. “Working with our local leaders, we’re going to invest in the Ohio communities that need significant infrastructure upgrades to ensure that they have access to clean, safe drinking water and reliable sewer infrastructure.”

Michigan Worker Catches Alligator in Wastewater Lagoon

A public works employee with the city of Stanton, Michigan, recently got a surprise when he discovered and captured an American alligator swimming in a wastewater lagoon.

He had been checking on pumps at the city’s lagoons when he saw a snapping turtle dive into the water and spotted a 3-foot alligator behind it.

“It took me a while to register what really just walked in front of me,” the worker told 9&10 News.

Department of Natural Resources officials took the gator to a zoo in Saganaw. It was likely a pet someone released into the pond when it got too big to handle.


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