Flushed wipes cost Atlanta water treatment system millions

Piles of disposable wipes like these, pulled from the sewage-treatment machinery at the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center, cost Atlanta Watershed Management ratepayers millions of dollars in clogs and damaged equipment.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution included a report last week on a reporter’s trip to the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center to see first-hand the problem of disposable wipes on the city’s water treatment infrastructure. Reporter Tom Sabulis also posted a video to recount the trip.

“Most wipes don’t disintegrate,” he writes. “They clog and snarl the city’s sewer tunnels, screens and pumps. Equipment repairs to fight the wipes build-up has cost Atlanta millions of dollars. Special blades to chop them up have been bought and installed. When centrifuges — machines that manage sludge — have to be replaced, they cost $2 million each. The city had to replace a couple recently after wipes and grease burned them out.”

More details here.

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