Campaign launched to halt wet wipe sewer blockages

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WIPE WARS: Aqualia said flushing wet wipes down the toilet were causing blockages in sewers

A WASTE company is raising awareness of the problems and costs brought on by flushing wet wipes down the toilet.

Aqualia spend some €200,000 in Almeria on clearing the blockages caused by the wipes. Wet wipes and other disposable hygiene products caused jams, breaks and blockages in up to 72 of the pumps which channel sewage water to treatment plants, according to reports.

Drainage workers had to clean the pumps more than 100 times to keep them working after they became clogged.

Around one million kilos of waste were removed from Almerian sewage treatment plants and the Costacabana outfall. More than half of that total was made up of wet wipes.

Aqualia have launched the Stop Wipes campaign in response to last year’s figures on waste. The company estimates that the total economic cost of cleaning the sewers of such waste could reach €3 million a year in Almeria if trends continue.

Aqualia added that the smell caused by blockages could also cause problems for residents in the province.

Each wipe thrown in the toilet increases maintenance costs in sewers by between €4-6, according to the Spanish Water Supply Association.

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