On February 3, 2022, Representatives Lisa McClain (R-MI) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) introduced the “Protecting Infrastructure and Promoting Environmental Stewardship Act” (PIPES Act) to codify a flushability certification process for the marketing of single-use “flushable” wet wipes. The PIPES Act is complementary to the WIPPES Act (HR 4602) that requires wipes manufacturers to label synthetic wet wipes as “Do Not Flush.” Together, the two bills holistically address the problem of the flushing of single-use wet wipes. Over the past year, CASA assisted McClain and Lowenthal’s offices with the development of both the PIPES Act and WIPPES Act. See the press release for the PIPES Act and legislative text here.

Specifically, the PIPES Act would codify the International Water Services Flushability Group’s “(PAS)101: 2020 Criteria for Recognition as a Flushable Product” and require wipes manufacturers to demonstrate and certify with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) that their wipes product(s) comply with the criteria to be able to market the wipes as “flushable” and/or “sewer and septic safe.” The bill also allows for USEPA to bring civil penalties upon a wipes manufacturer that fails to comply at $25,000 per day of violation and, or $500,000 for a single violation.

Please reach out to Sarah (ssap@ensresources.com) for template letters to send to your congressional delegations requesting that lawmakers support both bills.


On July 21, 2021, Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced the bipartisan Wastewater Infrastructure Pollution Prevention and Environmental Safety (WIPPES) Act. CASA has been working with Lowenthal’s office for the past year to develop a federal wipes labeling bill.

Upon introduction, Lowenthal and McClain published a press release, in which CASA is quoted supporting the legislation, along with other stakeholder groups, including NACWA. Next steps will be for the bill to be referred to the committees of jurisdiction. Text of the bill can be accessed here.

Below is a summary of the WIPPES Act’s key provisions:

  • Not later than 2 years after date of enactment, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in consultation with USEPA, will issue regulations to require wipes manufacturers to print clear and visible “Do Not Flush” label notices on non-flushable wet wipes product packaging.
  • Prohibition on the representation or marketing of flushable attributes, performance, or efficacy benefits for non-flushable wipes products.
  • FTC may bring penalty fines of not more than $2,500 for each day a manufacturer fails to comply with labeling requirements. Total fine amount may not exceed $100,000 for a single violation.
  • FTC will develop guidance for manufacturers to conduct education and outreach campaigns on new labeling requirements and provide consumers with the following information:
    • presence of the new label notice on product packaging
    • what products have the new label notice
    • intended effects of label notice on consumer behavior regarding the disposal of the products
    • outreach may not promote, advocate, or depict wipes other than the wipes products defined by legislation

State Water Board News Advisory: Do Not Flush Disinfecting Wipes, Paper Towels, Down the Toilet: Click here for further information.

State Water Board reminds people not to flush disinfecting wipes and paper towels as usage increases due to COVID-19.

EPA Encourages Americans to Only Flush Toilet Paper

Nationwide Study: The Cost of Wipes on America’s Clean Water Utilities



Single-use wet wipes have gained popularity in recent years. Many of these products are marketed as flushable, but often times are not compatible with sewer systems and infrastructure. Other products are not intended to be flushed but end up being improperly disposed of in the toilet. Flushing these products presents an increasing problem for property owners, sewer systems, and ratepayers, since wipes often do not break down after being flushed. Wipes can catch on tree roots and accumulate with fats, oils and grease and become large obstructions in the pipes. Further down the line, they weave together and create giant rags which get stuck in pumps, collection systems, and motors, causing backups and equipment failures. This problem is experienced across the state, country, and worldwide as disposable wet wipe products become more widely available.

Toilet to River


AB 818: Public Education and Outreach

Communications Tools


CASA + CWEA: June 18, 2020,  Wipes Webinar 1: Legislative and Public Outreach Efforts from 11:00am to 12:45pm
CASA + CWEA:  June 25, 2020 Wipes Webinar 2: O&M and Technology Strategies from 11:00am to 12:30pm


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