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Is Disposability the Enemy of Drainage?

Make no mistake: for many water companies, disposable wipes are the enemy. Disposable wipes are essentially an evolution of baby wipes, designed to appeal to the adult market.

One of their chief appeals is their disposability. However, in 2016, UK water firms wrote to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) urging it to investigate the issue of wet wipes clogging up the nation’s drains.

In many cases, a CCTV drain survey is essential to discover the cause, and location, of the blockage.

Water companies want manufacturers of moist toilet tissues and other non-biodegradable wipes to clearly and prominently label them as not flushable.

Consequences of Wet Wipes

Because many moist wipes are not paper-based, like standard toilet tissue, they are not dissolvable. They may also, over time, release plastics into the environment, with long-term consequences for the human food-chain.

Some urban drainage systems are quite resilient, but many are old, some even Victorian, and are therefore not equipped to deal with this kind of waste.

One danger of having some wipes labelled as disposable, whether they really are or not, is that it leads to the assumption that most, if not all, wipes are.

This further clogs up the drainage system.

Water companies feel it would be more environmentally responsible to remove flushable from all packaging of these products, to avoid consumers making the wrong assumptions about them.

Water companies in the UK spend around £88 million annually clearing drains, and estimate that half of these blockages are avoidable.

The Diagnosis for Drains

While water companies may feel that disposable moist wipes should be a national issue, it is often at the local level where the impact is felt.

If you are experiencing issues with your drainage, whether you’re a commercial concern, or it’s your home, then you may have long-term drainage issue that cannot simply be shifted.

This is where a CCTV drain survey is essential. This allows us to see what’s going on in the inside of your drainage network, and whether you have damaged or blocked drains.

It forms the basis for a comprehensive drainage report, up to date plans, and a recommended course of action to sort your drains out.

Disposability may feel convenient, but the consequences for drains are serious.

If your drains are in need of attention, please contact Drainage Consultants for a CCTV drain survey.