The”epidemic” of wipes, a threat to the sewer of the Quebec

L'«épidémie» de lingettes, une menace pour les égouts du Québec

L'«épidémie» de lingettes, une menace pour les égouts du Québec

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June 2, 2020 13.45

Updated at 20h34

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The”epidemic” of wipes, a threat to the sewer of the Quebec

L'«épidémie» de lingettes, une menace pour les égouts du Québec

L'«épidémie» de lingettes, une menace pour les égouts du Québec

Baptiste Ricard-Châtelain

The Sun

Unlike many municipalities are grappling with an influx of cleaning wipes in the sewers — which is the cause of the stoppers — the City of Quebec is not aware of any particular problem related to the pandemic : wipes or not, we take so much anything in the toilet that the obstructions are frequent.

The popular small towels cleaning regularly appear in the news since the beginning of the year. Especially since march, when Quebec fell to face the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (which causes the COVID-19).

It is not famous, however, not their cleansing properties. Generally, city managers implore their fellow citizens to throw them in the trash, not the toilet bowl. It is that the wipes are clogging the network, especially the pumps.

The mutual insurance of municipalities of Quebec has recently issued a warning about this ; document relayed to citizens by some local councils, including one in Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury. “The pandemic we are facing currently is exacerbating a problem that the municipalities were already facing, the disinfectant wipes,” wrote a consultant in risk management of the mutual, Claudia Latulippe. “Although these wet wipes are very popular for their ability as antiseptics, they are fibrous and, therefore, cannot disintegrate in conduits of sewage.”

“As with everything that is thrown to the toilet is to be found necessarily in the sewer system, the wipes can clog pipes and block the pumps of the pumping stations, burning out the engine of these.”

What is of concern to the mutual : the invoice. “This bad habit can lead to a number of problems that are very costly for the municipality.”

Ms. Latulippe therefore concludes : “Unlike toilet paper, wipes, disinfectant, or cleansing, just as sanitary towels and tampons, do not disaggregate in the ducts. These products simply do not have their place in the toilet and the sewer system, they are destined to the trash.”

In the capital city?

In Quebec, however, the managers of the network have not seen more of a breakdown or bottleneck in the course of the last three months. “Pumps of the sewer system are regularly blocked by materials that should not be thrown to the toilet, in particular of the wipes,” says the communication advisor, Wendy Whittom. “There is no significant difference in terms of crashes since the beginning of the pandemic.”

“In addition to wipes, the fat (from cooking or from factories) is also an important cause of the blocking of the pumps. The City reminds us that nothing should be thrown in the toilet and in the sewer system other than what is primarily intended.”

Le Soleil

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