ADAMS, Mass. — So-called flushable wipes are continuing to clog up and damage the town's wastewater treatment plant and cost taxpayers money.
"I know I have said this before but please do not flush wipes down the pipes," Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said at Wednesday's broadcast Selectmen's meeting. "They are costing us thousands of dollars a year in damage to the wastewater treatment system that is getting older and rustier every year."
It's a problem facing numerous towns and cities, he said. "I have been working with my colleagues and we are going to reach out to the attorney general's office because we are not the only community facing this."
The sanitary wipes are supposed to break down but that takes time and varies between products. Instead, they can glom together creating "fatbergs" that clog up systems. A fatberg just discovered in the London sewers made up of congealed wipes and grease, diapers, and other items weighs 140 tons and is expected to take three weeks to remove.
Mazzucco said a law firm is forming a class action suit against the manufacturers of the wipes who advertise them as flushable.
There isn't much the town can do to flush out the culprits, but it can point out problem neighborhoods that seem to cause the most damage.
"We are going to start targeting neighborhoods where we see high instances of the wipes and send them letters," he said. "It is taking man hours every single day to deal with this and it is lessening the lifetime of our equipment."
In other business, the Selectmen voted to renew an agreement with New Ashford to share the town's building department.
"It is a great little agreement and we can help out New Ashford and make a little money in the process," Mazzucco told the board. "The process has led to further collaboration between the towns. It is quick and easy and we want to continue with it."
Mazzucco said the town made $940 through the agreement. Selectman Joseph Nowak said he had no issue with the arrangement as long as it does not cut into Adams business.
"Anything we can do to help another community and make a little money doing it is fine with me," Nowak said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.
How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.