Anglian Water hopes to avoid wet wipe blockages with new ‘Fine to flush’ scheme

A previous fatberg found by Anglian Water Picture: ANGLIAN WATER

A previous fatberg found by Anglian Water Picture: ANGLIAN WATER - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water has joined with other water companies to launch a new standard for flushable wet wipes to be known as ‘Fine to Flush’.

A new logo will be available for manufacturers to use if their wet wipes pass specific tests.

The ‘Fine to Flush’ logo will let consumers know that products don’t contain plastic and will break down in sewers.

It is hoped that the standard will help to reduce the number of fatbergs and other sewer blockages, of which wet wipes play a large role.

Anglian Water believe that around 800 tonnes of wipes and sanitary items are flushed every week across the East of England region.

Rachel Dyson, Anglian Water’s Keep It Clear programme manager said: “We’re really pleased that the water industry as a whole is launching this new flushability standard today.

“Wipes cause real problems in the sewer network and have a devastating impact on customers.

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“Wipes are by far the worst culprit but cotton buds, tampons and fats also cause problems in the sewers. They result in around 80 per cent of the 40,000 blockages across the East of England each year.

“Most of these blockages are entirely preventable, but instead lead to devastating sewage spills, can harm the environment and cost more than £15million each year to clear.

“Ultimately this cost is added onto customers’ water bills and would be better spent elsewhere.”

In the UK, water companies say that it costs around £100 million a year to unblock sewers which have been clogged up by wipes and hygiene products.

To qualify for the new standard manufacturers will have to have their wipes tested by WRc, independent experts based in Swindon.