This week Water UK has published a new official standard which it is hoped will help customers identify brands of wet wipes that can be safely flushed down toilets.
The ‘Fine to Flush’ standard, which manufacturers can apply for, will be awarded to products that pass stringent scientific testing for flushability.
Products that meet the standard will then be able to carry the ‘Fine to Flush’ logo, making customers aware that the products are plastic-free and will break down in the sewer system.
Commenting on the new ‘Fine to Flush’ standard, Water UK Chief Executive Michael Roberts said:
“This is an important step in the battle against blockages. We’ve all seen the impact of fatbergs recently, and we want to see fewer of them. Improving the environment is at the core of what the water industry does, and the new ‘Fine to Flush’ standard that we’ve created will make it easier for consumers to buy an environmentally-friendly product instead of one which clogs up drains and sewers”.
An investigation carried out in 2017, the biggest in-depth review of UK sewer blockages, found that non-flushable wet wipes could make up around 93% of the material causing some sewer blockages.
In the UK there are approximately 300,000 sewer blockages a year, costing the country approximately £100million. In extreme cases, blockages sewers can cause the flooding of streets and properties with raw sewage.
It is hoped that this new standard for flushable wet wipes will reduce the occurrence of fatbergs such as the recent examples found in Whitechapel and Sidmouth and help customers to be more aware of what can and cannot safely be flushed.