grease traps

Wet Wipes WON’T Flush

Under the current circumstances, toilet paper has become a scarce commodity in many parts of the world. Some customers have been seen stockpiling and have left supermarket supplies depleted. This kind of behaviour has been seen in some places more than others, Australia being hit in particular. Despite public panic, numerous toilet paper suppliers in countries like Australia have assured customers that there is no shortage of toilet paper- it is simply a case of getting it to the shops. There is no need for panic.

Despite the advice, toilet paper supplies are short in some places. Due to this, many consumers around the world may be inclined (or forced) to seek out alternatives. Of these, wet wipes are a common substitute for toilet paper. However, this can cause a really big problem.

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog page, you’ll be aware that the issue of wet wipes is a recurring theme. I recently posted about how Andrex received approval that one of their products can be labeled as “flushable”. UK Water deemed the wipes “flushable”.

HOWEVER, the majority of wet wipes still are NOT safe to flush despite misleading branding. This has lead to previous legal discussions with advertising boards suggesting that many wet wipes companies are falsely advertising.

The truth is, most wet wipes if flushed down the toilet, do not break down correctly. They remain solid and are one of the key offenders in the anatomy of a fatberg. Wet wipes get stuck in our pipes and sewers, congealing with FOG (fats oils and grease) and other improperly disposed of items. The result is a fatberg. Fatbergs can be as big as a bus and weigh multiple tonnes. Gross.

Fatbergs aren’t as slimey as you might imagine, either. In fact- they are incredibly tough. Sewer workers often compare them to slabs of reinforced concrete. As well as being a huge environmental issue, they aren’t so easily removed.

A wet wipe encrusted fatberg

Specialist equipment and weeks of labor are often involved in removing one fatberg from the sewers. This can cost hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money. Not to mention the poor workers who have to go unclog the heaving mess!

Fatbergs have wreaked havoc across the globe. The UK and Ireland are particularly big offenders. This can be stopped though. In these uncertain times, we urge you- PLEASE dispose of your wet wipes appropriately. We recommend not flushing a wet wipe to our sewers and seas under any circumstances.

Water services describe the occurrence of a fatberg like a snowball effect. Flushed wet wipes congeal with fats, oils, and grease (FOG) in the sewers to create a real-life nightmare. Not only is removal a nasty process for the workers involved, the damage to infrastructure costs taxpayers millions a year. Our sewers and oceans are heavily hurt by the environmental impact of our actions, too. Just because we can’t see the monsters, doesn’t mean they’re not there.

 

By changing our habits, we can work together to eliminate fatbergs, save money and help to protect the planet. For more information and advice on how your kitchen can help make a difference, please contact us HERE.