Our water cycle and the wet wipes

The water cycle in Switzerland and its impact on wet wipes.

Our water cycle and the wet wipes
As a water ambassador and manager of an apartment building, I would like to share my experience related to the problem of the mechanical water cycle of our wastewater disposal.
During my Rhine tour in June 2019, I was accompanied during four days by the Executive Director of the International Association of Water Works in the Rhine Basin (IAWR). The knowledge I gained between Basel and Karlsruhe in connection with sewage treatment plants led to the fact that today I hardly throw anything into the toilet, not even single hairs.
Although every woman now knows that a tampon or sanitary napkin doesn’t belong in the toilet, it still happens frighteningly often. “Out of sight, out of mind”, because hardly any woman thinks about the fact that her waste has to be fished out somewhere. I didn’t used to realize that disposal happens closer to home than I thought; Until the moment I had to empty the sewer manhole in our apartment building and have the pump revised.
The maintenance company was busy for hours removing the wet toilet towels from the sewage pump. The pump jammed and nothing worked. It was immediately clear to me that this would be expensive. Over five kilos of intact wet wipes were presented to me by the workman in a bucket as proof. The “wrongdoer” is always the innocent toilet user who unsuspectingly relies on the responsibility of the manufacturer of the wet wipes. But these paper towels are so tear-resistant that you could pull the weight of a small truck with them. No wonder they clog the pumps. Then there’s the layer of oil, which is good for our bottoms, but very annoying for the sewage treatment plants that the wet wipes encounter along the way. They form a sticky mass that is almost impossible to remove.
Long story short: Dear reader, in the future, think twice before throwing anything down the toilet. Use your trash can more often.
A heartfelt thank you, also on behalf of our water.
Marja Nieuwveld – Water Ambassador

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