Wet wipe ruling welcomed by water companies

Oct 21, 2019

t comes just days after Thames Water pulled a giant mass of wipes which stretched for almost 20 metres from a sewer in North London.

Each year, the firm clears 75,000 blockages, at a cost of £1 8million, with wet wipes that do not break down in the system being a major cause.

This week, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled an online advert by Kimberley-Clark broke guidelines by wrongly implying its wipes met a single national standard for flushability. While it meets a standard set by manufacturers, it does not meet the Fine to Flush standard which is used by the water companies responsible for the sewers.

The North London mass of wet wipes resulted in the sewers flooding several gardens and took a team of engineers more than five hours to remove.

Thames Water network performance manager Stephen Pattenden said: “This was hundreds of wipes stuck together which caused unpleasant flooding for customers and had to be removed by hand.

“Wet wipes are a major problem across our network so we welcome anything which helps to clarify the issue for customers.

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