Wipes Legislation

What is the financial impact of flushed wipes on clean water utilities?

This report provides an estimate of the increased operating costs for utilities nationwide, with costs also estimated for each state.

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There are no federal regulations regarding the use of the word “flushable” on packages of wipes or other products, and disposal instructions for wipes are often not clear. That’s why some states are looking at making their own laws about labeling wipes.


The first state in the U.S. with a wipes law! The law requires that non-flushable wipes be labeled with a clear “Do Not Flush” logo, and specifies the size, contrast, and placement of the logo on packaging.

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District of Columbia

D.C. was the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to pass a wipes law. Enforcement of the law is currently on hold until regulations are finalized and a court case is resolved.

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California’s bill passed the Assembly on January 30, 2020, but was not voted on by the Senate. It will be re-introduced in the 2021 legislative session.

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Minnesota introduced a bill in February 2020 to define flushability and require “Do Not Flush” labeling on non-flushable wipes.

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Interested in Wipes Legislation for Your State?

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has developed model state legislation and a white paper explaining the legal issues involved with wipes legislation. Contact Cynthia Finley for more information.