The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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Wipe Woes-18

In this photograph taken, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, in Middlesex, N.J., the label that indicates wipes should not be flushed in a toilet is seen on a box next to baby wipes at the office of Rob Villee, executive director of the Plainfield Area Regional Sewer Authority in New Jersey. Increasingly popular bathroom wipes, thick, premoistened towelettes that are advertised as flushable, are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation. The problem has gotten so bad in this upstate New York town that frustrated sewer officials traced the wipes back to specific neighborhoods, and even knocked on doors to break the embarrassing news to residents that they are the source of a costly, unmentionable mess. An industry trade group this month revised its guidelines on which wipes can be flushed, and has come out with a universal stick-figure, do-not-flush symbol to put on packaging. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)