They’re billed as a fresh, clean alternative to toilet paper – but waste-water utilities across Canada say personal wipes are creating putrid sewage clogs that are costing Canadian ratepayers at least $250 million a year.
>MESUG members have set up traps across Ontario municipalities, Orr said, and they’re catching hundreds of flushable wipes. The situation is the same across the country, with officials in Penticton, B.C., recently complaining publicly about the wipes.
Canadian utilities aren’t alone in their battle against personal wipes.
In the U.S. capital region, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has spent more than $1 million installing powerful grinders to shred wipes before they reach pumps on their way to treatment plants.
The utility has also devoted hundreds of man-hours to unclog pipes and repair broken sewer lines. It blames wipes for blockages that have caused sewage to overflow into streams or back up into residential basements.<
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