Meet Wipezilla, the Wet Wipe Monster!
06 August 2019 9:53
Get a load of this monstrosity, NI Water’s very own wet wipe monster. A hideous creature made up of flushed wet wipes who migrated from the sewers to remind us that he can turn up anywhere, at any time, even on the beach!
He comes to life in the darkness of the sewers when wet wipes are flushed to wreak havoc on the sewerage system. Angela Halpenny, Head of Environmental Regulation explains, “Similar to wet wipes, he looks harmless but in reality, causes the majority of sewer blockages. He also causes out of sewer flooding into the streets, homes, gardens and ends up at the beach.
“Some of our customers genuinely don’t realise the damage they are doing when they flush a wet wipe. Just because it flushes away from your toilet, doesn’t mean it should be flushed. A pipe coming from the home is small and can easily block when inappropriate items such as wipes, cotton buds and sanitary ware are flushed. These items are designed to absorb water and as such they do not break down the way toilet paper does. If enough customers are flushing them at one time, the chances of a blockage are quite high. In fact, we deal with hundreds of blockages each year caused by these very items.
“The good news is we all have the power to defeat the wet wipe monster. By adopting better flushing habits and only flushing the 3P’s, pee, poo and paper, his days will be numbered. Doing this will also help the environment; if wipes end up in a river or the sea this can have devastating effects on the marine life and environment. The majority of wipes are made from plastic. As plastics move through the aquatic environment they break up and eventually, these particles reach a microscopic scale and become microplastics. Microplastics in the river or sea can be ingested by all animals in the food web, with shocking consequences. A better flushing habit is a single action that each and every one of us can implement today to help protect our beautiful environment for all to enjoy.”
There to witness Wipezilla make his debut appearance was Joanne Templeton, Waste Education and Awareness Officer at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, “Along with NI Water, we will be taking the wet wipe monster on the road over the next few weeks where the public can meet him and learn more about the damage caused by wet wipes. By raising awareness of the serious issues that flushing wet wipes can cause, we hope to help reduce the problem throughout the Borough and further afield.”
Angela concludes, “Customer awareness and behaviour change is the only real way to avoid a wet wipe monster in your home and in our network; it’s simple really, don’t flush anything other than paper, poo and pee.”
Visit www.niwater.com for further advice.
Pictured helping NI Water catch the wet wipe monster: Lucas (7) Jack (4) and Anna (8)