Water UK has welcomed the news that the first wet wipes to be accredited with the “fine to flush” symbol will soon be available to buy to help in the fight against fatbergs.
The Water Resource Centre (WRC), which tests wet wipes to see if they meet the new national standard, presented the first certification to Susie Hewson, the founder and owner of Natracare, earlier this month.
The new “safe to flush moist tissue” has been three years in development and marks the first product which has met the standards set by Water UK on 11 January 2019.
WRC said it is “proud” to be working at the forefront to tackle the important issue. The organisation along with the water industry developed the new testing specification with Water UK.
Rae Stewart, director of Water UK, said: “It’s great to see the first wipe which meets the ‘fine to flush’ standard coming onto the market. I hope it’s the first of many, giving people a clear choice in future.
“Customers can be confident that when they see the ‘fine to flush’ symbol on a wipes packet they won’t be adding to the fatbergs which clog up sewers and cost the country so much money to deal with. But if they don’t say ‘fine to flush’, those wipes need to go into the bin.”
Mark Smith, chief executive of WRC chief and Andy Drinkwater, principal engineer for sewerage, pollution and flooding, presented Hewson with the certificate at WRC’s offices in Swindon.
“Eco-warrior” Hewson said the development and research conducted by Natracare “proves to the industry that there is absolutely no reason that wipes can’t be flushable, environmentally conscious and have no negative impact on our water network.”
“It shows that regulation really is the cornerstone to innovation,” she said.
The “fine to flush” symbol aims to inform consumers which products do not contain plastic and will break down in the sewer system.
Manufacturers of wipes will be able to feature the official symbol on their packaging if the product passes strict scientific tests.
The Natracare product will be sold by Waitrose, Ocado and independent health stores.
Last week, United Utilities revealed it has discovered a 90-tonne fatberg lurking in a Liverpool sewer.
Elsewhere in the UK South West Water revealed last month that it had discovered its largest ever fatberg in a Sidmouth sewer under The Esplanade.
In September last year Thames Water installed a “special edition” manhole cover to mark the first anniversary of the discovery of the 130-tonne Whitechapel fatberg.
The 250-metre long congealed mass of fat, oil, grease, nappies, wet wipes and other sanitary products blocked an east London sewer and took 13-weeks to remove.
WRC operates across different sectors including water, environment, gas and resource management with clients including regulators and utility companies.