University of Colorado Sues Manufacturer Over ‘Defective Toilet Paper’

Crappy toilet paper creates quite a stink on campus

Apparently there’s such a thing as defective toilet paper. No moving parts. No electronics. By all accounts, toilet paper is a pretty simple concept.

So what exactly constitutes defective toilet paper, you ask?

Let’s check in with the University of Colorado, who is suing companies in San Diego and Phoenix over defective toilet paper after amassing $40,000 in plumbing fees over the past few years.

Apparently, defective toilet paper has created quite a stink in Boulder: bubbling toilets, toilets that wouldn’t flush – and toilets that have overflowed – ¬†causing flooding and backed up drains.

The university claims there were flooding issues in 27 buildings in the spring of 2009 alone, which begs the question: Why did it take two years and a toilet-flooding epidemic before anyone thought to check out the toilet paper? I’m no toilet paper engineer, but that’s one of the first things I’d consider under such crappy circumstances.

Steve Spangler, an author known in Boulder as “Science Guy,” says toilet paper manufacturers must walk a fine line between producing tissue that is too thin and will tear too easily, and making tissue that is too tough and will not disperse properly when flushed. (Not to mention the other – more relevant – issues related to “tough” toilet paper.)

Spangler speculated that thecompanies may have over-corrected – following earlier complaints – by toughening the toilet paper too much. Ouch.

“Maybe there was a complaint that it was not as strong as it needed to be, and someone made an adjustment and didn’t go back and test it again,” he said. “I have a feeling their research and development department will be much stronger after the lawsuit.”

One wonders just exactly what transpires in the research and development department of a toilet paper manufacturer? Never mind.


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