News Flash: They aren’t flushable.
Barry Orr (pictured above) is a part of the research team at Ryerson Urban Water. Recently, Orr and his colleagues conducted a rigorous comprehensive study on single-use items commonly flushed down the toilet after use. The test aimed to decipher which of these products marketed as flushable are truly safe for the sewer systems.
Pictured below, the study ruled out which products failed to disintegrate when exposed to water during testing. 23 different “flushable” wipes were observed and of the bunch, NONE passed the test. 2 of the single-use products eventually partially broke down but the other 21 never broke down in the test.
Read more about the logistics of the test and how un-flushables are effecting sewers around the world each day: here.
Amid thousands of reports of clogged sewage systems from wet wipes and fatbergs comes a new (maybe?) knight and shining armor: European company, Natracare, has released a brand new wipe that claims to be plastic free and biodegradable. Water UK set in place a set of stringent “flushable” regulations and according to the “moist tissue” packaging, the product is safe to flush. While we don’t know the exact methods and tests that are conducted to test flushability, Water UK reported that after testing the Natracare moist tissue, they concluded that the product is “100 per cent paper tissue and plastic free, marine friendly and compostable”.
Could these be the answer to our prayers? Or are they too good to be true? Only time and more tests will tell!
Read the full article here.
Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! The City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has created a clever spinoff of the HBO Drama series. Hamilton’s “Own Your Throne” depicts loyal toilet guardians, Richard the Turd and Sir Peeter defending their lair from unflushables seeking to destroy the kingdom.
The city has been dealing with an increase in sewage clogs from unflushable products being sent down the drains and has been focusing on educating the public about items that are actually ok to flush. The website offers a comprehensive list of unsuitable products for the sewer as well as articles that further explain what damages these items can cost when flushed.
Watch the videos here.
A Safe New Wipe Or Just Some Hype?
Wet wipe manufacturers in the UK will now be able to display a “Fine to Flush” logo on their packages if they pass strict new tests set in place by the Scottish Water Industry. Although the specifics of the scientific tests were not mentioned, industry officials state that the new label will let consumers know which specific wet wipes do not contain plastic and are (supposedly) safe to flush.
The new standard came after massive fatbergs have been surfacing throughout the UK, making news headlines and bringing awareness to the issue across the globe. According to Scottish Water, they reportedly encounter a whopping 95 FOG clogs per day, costing them millions per year to clear from sewer systems.
“We all have a part to play in looking after the water cycle. Anything which encourages people to think about their responsibility is welcome. Our sewer response teams deal with the consequences of people flushing the wrong items down the toilet – items like wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products – on a daily basis. We hope this new official industry Fine to Flush standard will help cut consumer confusion and lead to a reduction in blockages.” – Peter Farrer, Scottish Water COO
Read the full article, here.
Sonoma Water’s Environmental Services Division implements Pollution Prevention and Source Control programs
After seeing an increase in wastewater clogs in Northern California, Sonoma Water’s Environmental Services Division has implemented pollution prevention and control programs focusing on major culprits of detrimental sewage clogs for wastewater treatment plants and aging pipes, as well as major water polluters. The initiative focuses on key areas such as FOG or Fats, Oils and Grease, Safe Medicine Disposal, Pest Management, Hazardous Waste Disposal, and several others specifically geared towards commercial pollution from companies and businesses. The new programs bring light to wastewater and water issues and aim to educate the general public about resources available to them to reduce and eliminate harmful environmental impacts.
“The aim of these programs is to keep our treatment facilities in regulatory compliance and prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways through Sonoma Water facilities. We do this by providing outreach and education to the users of our facilities and by conducting inspections, reviewing building plans and requiring pretreatment at industrial and commercial facilities.”
Read the full article, here.
A Nightmare Before Christmas!
In the spirit of the upcoming Christmas holiday, we thought we would share the lovely creation pictured above that was created by Northumbrian Water in the UK.
The “Christmas Tree” is made up entirely of wet wipes that were found flowing throughout their sewers. The message they hope to convey with this unique work of art is that wipes and other non-flushables need to stay out of pipes in order to avoid a true nightmare before Christmas!
“Good drain care is for life, not just for Christmas but our tree is certainly a unique reminder of what you should and shouldn’t put down your toilets and sinks, to help keep the sewers flowing.” – Chris Hepple, Production Operator for Northumbrian Water
Read the full article, here.
A stunning chart shows the before and after performance of a pump station in Virginia. Since the installation of a 30K series Muffin Monster in 2013, the chart shows a dramatic decrease in the run time of the pumps.
The pumps are running more efficiently and the customer reports the pumps have not clogged once since installation of the Muffin Monster.
The utility is saving on electrical costs, maintenance costs and workers are protected from dealing with a clogged pump. Now that’s win, win, win.
Our local rep Watermark Environmental Systems was the equipment consultant on the project.
A Muffin Monster is located in an underground vault near Red Rock Amphitheater. (Photo by Kevin Bates)
Water & Waste Processing Magazine recently featured our story about the Muffin Monster sewage grinder at Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado.
Jeff Brewer is facility maintenance technician at Red Rocks Park…
“We were getting huge amounts of clothing, rocks, wipes and rags blocking up our drum grinders on a daily basis,” Brewer says. Along with being labor intensive, the process is both miserable and unsafe. “The vaults are very compact and the odor is terrible,” says Brewer. “I would have to unwrap the rags that got tangled up in the aerators and the impellers, and the cleaning process took about three hours from start to finish.”
Yuck! Glad we could solve those challenges easily with a Muffin Monster.
Continue reading the story >
The Channel Monster, custom fitted for Santa Ana manhole, slides down a guide rail for an easy access sewage grinder. (credit: Brian Ige, P.E., City of Santa Ana)
Pumps clogging with debris caused the City of Santa Ana to call for a Channel Monster sewage grinder. Contributing to the unbudgeted expense in maintenance, operators were having to break open pump fittings to reach the problem area, and pull the rag balls out, every time there was a back up in their system.
“We had to find a solution,” said Nabil Saba, P.E., Acting Water Manager for the City. “Every time the pumps would clog we had to go in there. It’s a confined space so, not easy. Every time we had to open the pumps and break the seals. And every time the workers are exposed to raw sewage.”
Read more about cutting maintenance costs and protecting pumps with this Monster sewage grinder.
In the April issue of the California Water Environment Association’s magazine, JWC’s Alec Mackie describes some of the challenges and solutions available to sewer professionals facing out of control problems with rags, wipes and other debris people are flushing into the sewers…
They sound like punch lines for late night comedians – fatbergs, polar bears, soccer balls, muffins and beach whistles – but to wastewater professionals the wipes clogging pumps and pipes are no laughing matter.
Untangling sewer pumps and valves from the tightly wound-up mess of wipes and rags is a dirty and dangerous task for CWEA members. And the frequency of sewers clogging with wipes is rising fast, in the worst cases some pump stations clog every day. We need to eliminate pump ragging and I believe we can. Our members are entering dangerous confined spaces and tearing apart pumps to remove balls of wipes and rags that contain disease and hypodermic needles.
Five years after problems first started surfacing with these new types of wipes are we any closer to a solution? Can we bring an end to the dirty and dangerous task of constantly deragging sewer pumps?
I think we can and we need to hurry up, before a hard working sewer professional gets hurt unclogging a pump.
Continue reading the article on CWEA’s E-Bulletin website. And remember – know What2Flush!
WJLA reporter Kevin Lewis digs deep to look at the problem of wipes clogging sewer pipes in Montgomery County, MD. He even features a Channel Monster sewage grinder in his report. The grinder is located in one of the local pump stations and notes grinders have not yet been installed in all of the agency’s pump stations.
“It’s a huge problem. It’s expensive for us to install this equipment, and ultimately our ratepayers have to pay for it,” said Lyn Riggins, WSSC spokeswoman. “Your toilet is not a trash can.”
Watch or read the story here >
The Dana Point Wastewater Pumping Station in Southern California was suffering terribly from rags and trash wrapping around pump impellers. Pumps were ragging up once or twice every week – and these were the fanciest “non-clog” pumps available.
What’s the point of a non-clog pump if it constantly clogs?
The wastewater district installed a small, energy efficient Channel Monster grinder to chop up all the rags into small particles so the pumps can move wastewater efficiently. Since the Channel Monster was installed none of the pumps have clogged.
“It’s working beautifully. We used to de-rag pumps 1-2 times per week. The procedure to de-rag the pumps was time consuming and messy – lock-out, tag-out, crane them up, reach in and pull out the rag ball. It would take two men about 30 minutes to do. This is much better.” – Pump Station Operator
Learn more about the Channel Monster
Moonlight Beach pumping station in Southern California has a beautiful sandy beach just one block south and Cottonwood Creek just a few steps away so there is no room for wastewater back-ups and overflows.
To ensure the average daily flow of 1-million gallons of wastewater flows smoothly – no matter what comes down the sewer line – engineers from Kennedy-Jenks specified three in-line model 40000 Macho Monster grinders.
When a Southern California wastewater district faced nightmarish pump ragging and clogging issues in one of their largest lift stations – operators knew exactly what to do. They recommended installing the industry leading Muffin Monster® sewage grinder – or in this case – its bigger brother the Macho Monster.
Operators from Moulton Niguel Water District were clearing out sewage pumps every other day at the Lower Salada Lift Station located near the coastline in Orange County. The dry-pit station is deep underground with a congested working area. During peak flow, the three 400-hp (300-kW) pumps need to move millions of gallons (40-175 l/s) of sewage to the treatment plant to prevent a back-up or overflow.
Read how they solved their pump ragging problem >
According to the Mississippi Press newspaper a brand new Interstate 10 rest stop is now closed after motorists started flushing strange items down the toilets. Coming to the rescue? AMuffin Monster sewage grinder. The JWCE Team will get it built and shipped as fast as possible to get this rest stop back up and running.
“We’ve had some problem with motorists flushing things in the toilet system that should not be flushed such as diapers and feminine hygiene products,” said Kelly Castleberry, Mississippi Department of Transportation district engineer.
He said a couple of grinder pumps burned out under the onslaught. ”Now, we are going to have go in there and install a monster,” he said.
Read the story here >