Wet Wipe "Adult Toilet Training" | Seriously? September 4, 2016 10:50
When we admit that the problem with people flushing wet wipes is not primarily a matter of ignorance, we will have a shot at effectively addressing this issue.
The piece below by Andrea Klassen, published in British Colombia's kamloopsthisweek.com, mentions the City of Vancouver having promoted an “adult toilet training” campaign, urging residents to stop putting wet wipes down their toilets, even if the wet wipes are marketed as safe to flush.
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“I didn't think marbles were still a thing,” said the chief operator of Kamloops’ wastewater treatment plant. And yet marbles arrive almost daily, carried to the plant at the end of Mission Flats Road in the millions of litres of water flushed through the city’s sinks, drains and toilets.
Fisher estimates the plant screens out about 8,000 kilograms of material that can’t be treated every month, which ends up in the landfill. Along with marbles, there are more usual suspects including tampons, plastic applicators and so-called flushable wipes — a product that’s become the bane of sewer systems across the country.
Earlier this year the City of Vancouver launched an “adult toilet training” campaign, urging residents to stop putting wet wipes down their toilets, even if they’re marketed as safe to flush.
“Our pipes [and yours] can’t handle things like wipes, facial tissues, diapers, cotton balls, tampons, dental floss, paper towels and even hair [who knew?]. Many of these items become stringy and bind together to block pipes,” explains the city’s site, neverflushwipes.ca.
Kamloops utilities services manager Greg Wightman said the issues giving Vancouver grief are also showing up frequently in Kamloops.
“It’s basically like a long rope is what happens. They get caught up in each other and twisted up in the pipes,” he said
Often, trouble occurs well before the wastewater reaches the screening machinery at the end of the pipeline, Wightman said. When wipe-ropes go through the city’s pumping stations they can become wrapped around the pumps, which must then be shut down so they can be pulled out of the system.
“They say flushable on the package but, other than toilet paper and anything that you’ve already eaten, you shouldn’t be putting anything else down there in the sewage system,” Wightman said.
On a national level, the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group, an Ontario-based group advocating for better labelling on wipe products, estimates municipal governments are spending more than $250 million a year to remove wipes from their systems.
The group argues even products that aren’t advertised as flushable (baby wipes, for instance), don’t make it clear they aren’t sewer-system safe.
Other international groups are hoping to develop a global standard for what
can and can’t go down the toilet, which could then be applied to product which meet the regulations.
Wipe manufacturers have argued such standards aren’t necessary, saying flushable wipes are unfairly being blamed for issues that are mainly caused by cleaning products and baby wipes.
As to other products screened out at the plant — the plastics, sanitary products and other items flushed down the city’s loos — public works director Jen Fretz said they, too, can damage pipes,
While no exact cost was available, she said sending garbage through the city’s sewer pipes, pump stations and sewage treatment plant in order to have it mechanically separated and trucked to the landfill is likely more expensive than throwing it in a garbage bin.
“All those people who think if you flush it down the toilet and it goes away? That’s where it ends up,” she said. END
So, municipalities are spending 250 million a year in part because of wet wipes damaging the equipment at wastewater treatment facilities, and the best that government can do is "Adult Potty Training?"
Does the governement really believe that most people are flushing bathroom wet wipes for their tush because they do not know it is not the best thing to do?
C'mon people, what are they supposed to do with the wipes? Put them in a bag or trash can...please. Show us the government officials who have a trash bin near their toilet containing soiled wet wipes and how they handle this material on an ongoing basis. Perhaps a government official will volunteer to be in a video depicting their daily or weekly bathroom waste protocol? We will bet this is a case of government saying, "Do as I say, not as I do."
Until wipes used to clean one's backside are removed from the market, preferably by a better alternative, people will continue to flush away. If government put a fraction of the 250 million into developing alternatives to so-called flushable wipes and promoted the best alternatives, we believe lasting change could took place.
Let's stop kidding ourselves by pretending that adults do not know what they are doing in the privacy of their bathroom where no one can see what is going on.
The Etiquette Google + Page is a great resource for articles dealing with this topic. You can check it out HERE - http://goo.gl/iKYskG