There’s a new spokesperson in Texas and she goes by the name of Patty Potty! She uses a creative and eye-catching approach to tell Texas households what they should do with a wipes after they’re done using it. Answer – trash it.
Tackling potty talk with a plunger in hand, she is here to re-educate and spread awareness that wipes are not “flushable” although sometimes contrary to the product the label. With slogans like “no wipes in the pipes!”, this lovable pink and retro housewife plunges at the growing sewer issues – one wipe at a time.
“Trash ’em don’t flush ’em!,” says Patty. ” There is nothing wrong with these products… the problem is how people displose of them. Flush only the 3 P’s! Pee, poo and (toilet) paper.”
Read her Full Story here>>
Two New York City Council members are proposing an ordinance that would ban false advertising on flushable wipes. It would also issue a fine for any wipes product that falsely claims it is “flushable.” The City is spending $3 million alone at the Newton Creek resource recovery facility just to remove wipes from the wastewater.
“Consumers are thinking they’re doing something that’s not wrong, or not causing any harm by letting the non-flushable wipes go down the toilet,” said Counncilmember Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn. “They wouldn’t be able to label things that are not flushable, flushable.”
Continue reading on CBS New York >
Hilarious video message from the President – “Now let me be clear – if anything remember your three Ps – pee, paper, poo.”
Thanks for the funny video at NEORSD!
Photo credit to: New York Times
The New York Times had an article today on the damage “flushable” wipes have caused the city.
“The dank clusters, graying and impenetrable, gain mass like demon snowballs as they travel. Pumps clog. Gears falter. Then, there is the final blow, wrought by an intake of sewage that overwhelmed a portion of a north Brooklyn treatment plant.”
The most telling piece of evidence thus far is the $18 million dollars in repair or replacement costs associated with equipment damaged by sewer debris. According to the New York Times,
“The volume of materials extracted from screening machines at the city’s wastewater treatment plants has more than doubled since 2008, an increase attributed largely to the wipes.”
Continue reading the article >
Built in 1977, the Santa Margarita reclaimed water facility was initially intended to provide water for landscape irrigation in the district. During a typical 12-month period today, the facility brings in 680 million gallons of sewage and sends out 620 gallons of reclaimed water. But starting in about 2012, the pumps would begin to lose efficiency as the wipes loading increased. All Pumps, including standbys would have to run to maintain plant production. Once they reached 60 Hz the plant would need to shut down to derag the pumps.
“This upgrade cost significantly less than purchasing a whole new set of pumps,” says Ron Johnson, facilities supervisor for the SMWD facility.
Learn why Johnson agrees with most when he says,”Our choice to go with a new Channel Monster, to me, is priceless.” Read the full case study here.
JWC is proud to support two important regional meetings focused on what people flush (and what they shouldn’t flush!).
- May 1 – What 2 Flush Summit, San Diego This event is hosted by the California Water Environment Association and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and features two separate panels of nationally recognized experts. The first panel will focus on the latest technologies, research and updates about nondispersible wipes. The second panel will focus on public outreach campaigns related to no drugs down the drain.
JWC is proud to sponsor the Summit with our representative MISCOwater and will have a table top booth to demonstrate the latest Wipes Ready Muffin Monster grinders.
- May 5 – Toilets Are Not Garbage Cans, London, ON Hosted by the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association this workshop will cover the nondispersible wipes issue. The panelists will also provide an update on their efforts to establish an ISO standard for items flushed down the toilet. JWC is proud to sponsor this event with our distributor Envirocan based in Ontario. We will also have a table top booth at this event.
On April Fools Day of all days, NACWA announced on their blog the first meeting of the NACWA, WEF, CWWA and INDA Product Stewardship Initiative was generally positive. The associations are working together on new flushability guidelines for flushable wipes makers but at this meeting wanted to talk about the bigger issues of product labeling and customer education.
All parties involved in both projects seem willing and eager to tackle this problem, and we have seen successful voluntary actions taken by many of these same companies on problems such as plastic microbeads. With the media’s continued interest in the problem, the pressure will be on the wipes industry to make their voluntary successful.
Continue reading on NACWA’s blog
The Age of Australia reports on the Yabbara Valley Water districts ongoing struggles with wipes and rags clogging up their system. The District recently installed grinders to help deal with the problem and relieve their maintenance staff of the dangerous and time consuming job of deragging sewer pumps by hand.
Pat McCafferty, managing director for Yarra Valley Water told The Age:
More than 4000 kilograms of wet wipes were removed from the retailer’s network every fortnight. Some blockages could cost up to $1000 to clear and that Yarra Valley Water was forced to invest in new technology that “munched” the wipes to help avoid blockages. He said the problem was costing Yarra Valley Water about $70,000 a year.
Continue reading on The Age >
Great animated TV ad by the Scottish Water Company…
The City of Camrose in Canada has come-up with a unique way to teach people what is okay and what is not okay to flush – a cartoon poo race. The illustrated comic strip describes the adventures of several poos racing to the resource recovery plant and all the obstacles they run into along the way – hair, plastics, wipes and other stuff that get’s in their way.
Check out The Epic Poo Race here >
The upgraded Channel Monster now efficiently processes rags, wipes and other debris to protect the headworks pumps.
The magazine TPO (Treatment Plant Operator) has a great problem/solution story in their November issue about our Channel Monster sewer grinder installed at a Southern California resource recovery facility. The grinder helps the facility trim their electrical bill by $78,000 per year by making the pumps far more efficient.
Grinder eliminates wipes problem
Problem: In 2012, the Santa Margarita Water District in California saw a change in the influent at its reclaimed water facility. Disposable wipes were degrading pump performance, requiring all four pumps to run continuously, instead of cycling two pumps at a time. When the pumps could no longer keep up, the plant staff had to derag them by hand, forcing a plant shutdown about every four weeks for two hours and exposing workers to potential injuries from sharps in the rag balls. The labor and the loss of an acre-foot of reclaimed water per month cost $15,000 per year.
Solution: The facility upgraded its Channel Monster from JWC Environmental to a new perforated drum configuration designed to combat wipes and other materials. The upgraded drums are made of durable perforated metal that better traps wipes and forces them into the cutter stack, essentially eliminating clogs.
Result: Since the upgrade, the district has had zero pump clogging issues and has returned to using two pumps at a time. Energy costs decreased by $78,000 per year and manual pump clean-out was eliminated.
To request engineering drawings or flow rates on a Channel Monster, please use our engineering data request >
The new Channel Monster has completely prvented these giant rag balls that were clogging the sewer pumps.
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 >
A scathing press release from the Seattle Public Utilities notes “most ‘flushable’ products are no such thing.”
The press release is warning customers that what they flush may soon lead to higher sewer fees. All because people are choosing to flush debris and wipes down the toilet rather than throwing them into the trash can.
The SPU spokesperson notes…
Don’t believe those ads promoting so-called “flushable” products that can supposedly be safely disposed of in your toilet. For the most part, the claims are a bunch of malarkey. Even products advertised as “flushable” cause problems in the sewer, as they do not easily break down.
Powerful words from an agency struggling with a costly, smelly and dangerous problem.
The press release details the problems at one sewage lift station in particular – pump station no. 9 along the shores of Lake Washington. According to SPU about 50% of the maintenance costs associated with caring for this station are spent on clearing out clogs. And the work of clearing clogs is disgusting and dangerous for the workers involved.
Worse, if the clogs are not cleared then sewage will overflow into beautiful Lake Washington and harm Seattle’s environment.
Continue reading the SPU press release >
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies added a blog post on Dec 3rd describing the attributes of toilet paper that make it compatible with the sewer system and stating anything that is going to be labeled flushable needs to meet those same standards.
In order for both wastewater system operators and wipes manufacturers to agree on a definition of what is “flushable” they will need to work together on developing tests that will prove the product breaks apart like toilet paper.
There are no clear answers to these questions yet, but the wastewater industry will be working with the nonwoven fabrics industry starting next year, with the goal of completing new flushability guidelines expected in mid-2016. There is also an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) workgroup that is currently developing technical specifications for flushable products.
NACWA’s post seems to indicate the wastewater groups and wipes manufacturers will continue working together in order to develop the standardized tests and guidelines for flushability.
NACWA warns however, until wipes makers meet the TP standard, the wastewater community is going to continue to preach the 3PS – pee, poo and toilet paper.
Two interesting standards NACWA lays out in their post – the wipe must break apart in 60 minutes or less and the wipe must not be buoyant. Okay wipes makers – let’s get innovating and produce a sewer and septic safe product!
Read NACWA’s Dec 6th blog post >
Dr. Oz asks – what should you flush? Be sure to read the label.
Dr. Oz talked flushable wipes during his Tuesday, Sept 9th talk show. He took a tour of a New York City wastewater treatment plant and saw the problem of clogged sewer systems up close. He warned people to look before you flush – those wipes might not be as flushable as you think.
NACWA’s Cynthia Finley was also one of Dr. Oz’s guests and described the importance of only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper. Toilets are not trash cans Ms. Finley reminded the audience.
Dr. Oz recommended using a spray bottle on toilet paper to create a wet wipe. Or perhaps the new Wipe Aide toilet paper moistener?
Is Dr. Oz changing his habits when it comes to using flushable wipes? Seems like he might be switching back to T.P. after Tuesday’s episode. Here is a description from a 2011 Dr. Oz show where he took viewers on a tour of his dressing room…
Instead of toilet paper, Dr. Oz likes to use flushable baby wipes with soothing aloe and Vitamin E. The wipes are soothing and help him feel healthier by not causing abrasion to the tender skin of the backside.
Wipes maker Kimberly Clark had their own view on the problem of wipes in sewer pipes and issued a statement.
Canadian wastewater professional Barry Orr is one of the leaders of a work group proposing new ISO standards for flushable products. He’s shown here with a mass of debris removed from a sewer pump station. (picture from the Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press wire service is reporting Canadian wastewater professionals are taking the lead in forming a work group with the International Standards Organization (ISO) in order to develop new flushability standards. The wastewater group, known as Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group (MESUG), hopes the new standards will help cut down on the amount of nondispersible debris clogging sewer systems around the world.
MESUG submitted the request for a new ISO standard in January and in May the ISO Board approved their request to move forward. The process of developing an ISO standard typically takes 3-5 years, but the group hopes to complete the process in 2-3 years.
“Canada is at the forefront in addressing the flushability of these products. We’re leading the ISO, and we’re working with nations across the globe to make improvements. The toilet is not a garbage can. The consumers need to know that it can damage their own systems and it can damage the municipality’s systems, too.” – Barry Orr, MESUG Canada
Continue reading the article on The Telegram’s website >
WEFTEC Booth 4729
September 29 – October 1
This year JWC is heading to WEFTEC in New Orleans with several new Monster solutions to help collection system managers and treatment plant managers deal with the exploding problem of wipes and debris getting flushed down the drain. There is a better way. Protect your pumps and protect your people with JWC’s new wipes ready Monster grinders.
The problems caused by wipes and debris are astounding: across the country hundreds of millions of dollars in damage; sewer pumps clogging daily in some towns; and the wipes market may keep growing by 16% per year. The problem is only getting worse.
Stop by JWC’s booth #4729 to learn about:
- How sewage is changing
- JWC’s strategy for fighting wipes – Capture. Cut. Remove.
- Optimized Cut Control* helps sewer pumps run reliably 24/7
- Our Delta-P* system makes Monster grinders more efficient and effective
- JWC’s support of wipes public outreach and research – what’s happening in the industry!
- Do you have questions about wipes? Click here to ask a JWC Expert.
JWC Monsters on display:
- Macho Monster 40002 live grinder demonstration
- Channel Monster pump station grinder with new wipes ready cutters
- Muffin Monster in-line sludge grinders
- Come see the unveiling of our newest, most efficient Monster grinder
JWC’s knowledgeable sales managers will be on-hand to walk you step-by-step through our plan for dealing with wipes so they don’t clog your pump stations and treatment plant. Come see the strongest Monster grinders on the planet – ready to take a bite out of wipes and solve your town’s sewer crisis once and for all.
Plus stop by JWC’s booth #4729 to enter our What Was That!? Contest.
Make the correct matches of ground-up, sewer clogging debris and you could win a $400 Amazon gift card
See you in New Orleans!
*Patent pending technologies
To prevent pump ragging for good and eliminate the cost of vacuum truck services – the town installed a Muffin Monster sewage grinder.
When Otter Creek Water Reclamation District was faced with expensive reoccurring clean-up costs because of rags, wipes, flushables and debris at their largest wastewater pump station, engineers solved the problem with a Muffin Monster sewage grinder.
The Village of South Elgin, established in 1897, is a picturesque community that attracts visitors and new residents with its old world charm. Located about 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois, the Village’s 22,000 residents rely on three wastewater pump stations. The largest of these is located at the Thornwood Lift Station where flow to the station is about 490 gpm (110 m3/h) and three 40-hp (30 kW) pumps need to move sewage at about 600 gpm (136 m3/h) @ 36’ (11m) TDH. Here, build-up of rags, trash wrappings and other debris were clogging the system and forcing it offline. This necessitated regular cleanings totaling over $19,000 per year…
Learn how they solved their expensive reoccurring clean-up costs caused by flushables >
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.
During a Twitter chat on forest sustainability practices hosted by Greenpeace and Kimberly-Clark Corporation , one participant asked…
Are KC non-woven products aka flushable wipes blocking sewer systems and causing pollution?
Kimberly-Clark: We make a number of cleansing cloths that are safe to be flushed. However, we also make wipes that should not be flushed. Kimberly-Clark produces flushable cleansing cloths under several brands: Cottonelle, Scott Naturals, Pull-Ups, U by Kotex and Poise. We also make baby wipe products under the Huggies brand that are not flushable. It’s important to read the label on all wipe products and use as directed. We subject our flushable wipes to a variety of tests to evaluate their compatibility with wastewater conveyance and treatment systems. Visit our website to see video of the testing and to learn more.
Greenpeace: In general, we think the world could do with fewer throw-away products. However, if millions of people want to buy them, it is important that what goes into them is sustainable. There are times when Greenpeace and K-C see things differently when it comes to disposables, but that does not get in the way of our collaboration to ensure the fiber they are buying is helping keep forests standing.
Photo Credit: Reading Eagle’s Bill Uhrich
Disposable wipes are at it again. The Reading Eagle and maintenance operators at wastewater treatment plants across the nation suggest you dispose of wipes in the trash can not the toilet. As sales of these popular wipes go up so does your plumbing bill. Plumbers are quoting from $200 – $400 per visit due to this deceiving product. Not to mention wastewater treatment plants have spent over $3,000 to unclog their equipment each time!
Recently, the Muffin Monster was mentioned in an article written by the Reading Eagle, “Flushing disposable wipes spurs woes at home, sewage plants”. Exeter Township Municipal Sewer Plant in PA, boasts to be not impacted by the influx in clogging disposable wipes since they have a Muffin Monster working for them.
Read more about why you should “Think before you flush when it comes to disposable wipes”.
Read more about why you should think before you flush when it comes to disposable wipes.
Rogers TV in London, Canada recently featured a report on dos and more importantly don’ts when it comes to our sewage system. Making it’s infamous appearance are those costly flushable wipes! Sounds like they need a JWCE Monster. Watch the clip for yourself!
photo credit: AP
Popular bathroom wipes blamed for sewer clogs
Yet another story on this increasing problem of wipes, this time in Bemus, New York. We’ve got your solution right here. Our powerful Muffin Monster can help combat these issues in a snap. Need more reasons why a Monster is your best solution. Visit our Why a Monster? page and explore the site. Don’t let your community suffer.
The problem got so bad in this western New York community this summer that sewer officials set up traps – basket strainers in sections of pipe leading to an oft-clogged pump – to figure out which households the wipes were coming from. They mailed letters and then pleaded in person for residents to stop flushing them.
Get informed! Read the rest of the story.
We’ve all been guilty of flushing those cleverly advertised “flushable wipes” or pre-moistened “personal” wipes down the toilet. What we are failing to realize is that they are creating havoc for our local pump stations in the form rags. This build-up isn’t pretty…
Aging Waste Water Treatment Plant facilities have struggled for years with the problem of “ragging” with no viable solution for those personal wipes, paper towels and other items not designed for flushing but forcibly advertised as so. Wipes and other products do not disintegrate into the water fast enough to pass without strangling pumps.
We all know what happens when sewer lines are broken and backed up. That brown, foul smelling water and sludge enters our homes and destroys our floors and belongings. Take the time to throw those wipes in the trash where they can be properly disposed of. In the mean time JWC Environmental offers a number of flushable wipes and ragging solutions. Make sure to take a look around the site.
In the mean time, make sure to check out some the related flushable wipes stories below:
Washington Post – “Flushable” Personal Wipes Clogging Sewer Systems
USA Today – Wipes in the Pipes Snarling Sewers
KSL.com – Popular Bathroom Wipes Blamed for Sewer Clogs
VIDEO – WUSA9 –Too Many Flushable Wipes in Pipes
How much does the trash people are flushing down the toilet cost local sewer agencies? Few people know and few records have been kept in the wastewater industry. Until now. Starting in 2013 many of the wastewater associations have started gathering detailed research on the cost of clogged sewer pumps – equipment damage, labor costs, overtime, sewer spills, wasted electricity and the expense of retrofitting pumps with better impellers or installing a sewer grinder, such as the Muffin Monster.
What the data gathering efforts are finding is sewer pump ragging is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted effort and needless repair. The research has found the average cost of clogged sewer pumps is $30,000 per year, per pump station. These pump stations average about 1-10 million gallons per day (150-1500 m3/h) of raw sewage.
Here are some recent studies…
- Orange County, CA – $30,000 per year/station – Analyzing 10 pump stations for 1 year this agency found they had over $300,000 in additional labor and parts for deragging pumps. At some stations they are deragging pumps on a weekly basis.
- New England – $29,000 per year/city – According to a survey conducted by a regional wastewater association
- Southwest Washington State – $32,000 per year/station – This agency added wasted electrical usage to their cost calculations, while also looking at wasted parts and labor costs. As rags build up on the pump’s impeller it causes drag and pumping inefficiency. Variable frequency drives will speed up to move the same amount of wastewater, thus wasting electricity. As the build-up of rags worsens an additional pump may be needed to make-up for the pump that is becoming clogged.
- Chicago Suburbs, IL – $19,000 per year/station – When this town’s main lift station would rag up, the sewer agency hired a vacuum truck company to go and clean out the lift station and get it working again. This occurred on a weekly basis.
There is a cost even more important to consider when looking for ways to deal with pump ragging – the safety of America’s wastewater professionals. Deragging a pump by hand is not only labor intensive, messy and costly – it’s also dangerous.
When called upon to derag a sewer pump wastewater professionals are exposed to:
- Confined space danger
- Hydrogen sulfide gas
- Hypodermic needles flushed down toilets
- Raw sewage
- Diseases and viruses
In the last 5 years alone, JWC Environmental has installed over 4,000 pump station grinders. If each station was costing a local sewage agency roughly $30,000 to deal with, then with the Muffin Monster grinder, which makes pump ragging go away, it’s saving America’s sewer agencies roughly $120,000,000 per year. That’s $120 million every year. But more importantly, at least in our opinion, we’re saving America’s wastewater professionals from the dangerous task of deragging sewer pumps by hand.
Monsters are here to lend a hand. Can we help you wipe out pump ragging? Request a quote or call us at (800) 331-2277.