Flushable wipes are fighting a PR campaign in the sewers, where they contribute about a third of the debris choking screens and pumps in U.S. treatment plants.
Over the last five years in New York City alone, more than $18 million has been spent repairing and replacing damage that the anal retentive among us hath wrought:
The globs aren’t unique to New York…in London, a 15-ton wad of wet wipes and cooking grease last year accumulated to the size of a yellow school bus inside a sewer line, preventing neighborhood toilets from flushing. It took more than three weeks for Thames Water Utilities Ltd. to break up the “fatberg.”
Similar blockages have been experienced in Orange County, California; Columbus, Georgia; and Vancouver, Washington. Portland, Maine’s Water District is still paying for the $4.3 million it borrowed in 2009, an amount almost equal to half its annual operating costs, for screens to catch wipes before they ruin pumps. [Bloomberg]
Oh, and there’s more! So very much more.