‘Don’t clog it up’ campaign launched as 24 tonnes of wet-wipes removed from sewage pipes in Ronda
by Billie Jo Ropiha on Apr 02, 2022
The Aqualia water company is warning that nothing but toilet paper should be disposed of in this way and is calling on people to behave more responsibly
Last year the Aqualia company, which manages the water service in Ronda, removed around 98 tonnes of objects from the local sewage pipes, of which 24 tonnes were wet-wipes, which do not decompose on contact with the water like cellulose – which is what toilet paper is made of – does. This shows how big a problem wet-wipes cause when thrown into the lavatory, and it is something that happens all over Spain.
In the case of Ronda, Aqualia says the other items included sanitary pads, cotton buds, condoms and, since the Covid pandemic began, face masks. It costs the authorities around 115,000 euros a year to clear them out by machine and manually and then dispose of them properly.
“The Spanish Water Supply Association (AEAS) estimates that the wet-wipes which people throw down the lavatory increase the costs of maintaining and treating the sewage system by four to six euros per person per year," say sources at Aqualia, who are calling on people to be more responsible.
They warn that such behaviour causes blockages and breakdowns as well as unpleasant smells in the pipes and the pumping equipment. “Just the simple gesture of throwing wet-wipes and other things into the bin instead would really help to solve the problem,” they say.
They have now started a campaign called ‘Don’t clog it up’ to raise awareness of the fact that nothing but toilet paper should ever be disposed of down the lavatory, nor through drain gratings.