100 tonnes of rubbish in the sewage lines

Sunday 20th November 2022 12:30 pm
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Waste clogged in Sewage treatment works

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The Manx Utilities Authority removes approximately 100 tonnes of waste products, such as wet wipes or sanitary products, from its treatment works each year.

This is almost the same weight as three humpback whales.

This figure is purely from treatment plants and does not include pipe blockages around the island.

However, the MUA has seen a 50% reduction in blockages along sewage systems in the last seven years.

It is still asking people to consider the impact of flushing the waste products, known as ‘rags’, down the toilet.

Rags are defined by the authority as materials that do not break down after flushing.

Wet wipes, which are included in the ‘rag’ category, may also contain micro-plastic fibres, which do not biodegrade in the environment.

In areas of the island where sewage treatment plants are not yet in place, such as Garff and Peel, the waste will end up in the marine environment or washed up on beaches.

Bill Dale, of Beach Buddies said: ‘We only find wet wipes and sanitary products on beaches close to where there is no sewage treatment.

‘There used to be very high numbers of these items, but on many beaches we now rarely find these items which can only be good for the sea and wildlife.

‘I hope we can all help to build further on this success to protect our island environment.’

The MUA said: ‘Placing a bin in a bathroom will help stop the inappropriate disposal of items into the sewer system and potentially avoid costs associated with addressing unnecessary blockages and clearing of treatment works.

l For more information on the ‘Bin it, Don’t Flush It’ campaign, visit the Manx Utilities Authority’s website.

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