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Wet Wipes that Wiped out A Sewage System

It's a sticky situation that cost a city in London £18 million Pound to clear up


What's going on?

A fatberg is a large mass of solid waste in underground sewage systems. Sewage pipes are not built to withstand product pile-ups such as wet wipes, diapers, and sanitary products. Together, they would get stuck into a big mess of congealed fat that creates blockages within the sewers. According to studies, a clogged London sewage system near Whitechapel costs £18 million Pound in the process of clearing up 130 tonnes of wet wipes.


Strangely, a large percentage of flushable wet wipes aren’t flushable at all. Research shows that these wet wipes quite often fail water industry tests that are designed to find out how well they dissolve in water once they are flushed. Wet wipes are designed to provide better absorption using polymers or mixed components. Since these wipes are technically stronger, they do not dissolve as quickly as regular paper towels and thus comes into contact with other materials in the sewers.


Even wet wipes that are labeled as biodegradable also do not ensure its effectiveness when it comes to being friendly towards the environment. Hence, it is not in the best interest to flush anything that does not dissolve in minutes, or the consequences are costly and could potentially affect the operation of the sewage system.


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