The Fine to Flush Certification Scheme is designed to assess if products can be flushed without any detriment to the operation of the sewer system. This has become necessary because over the last decade or so there has been a significant increase in the number of wipes flushed. The majority of these do not break down or break down sufficiently quickly and a significant wipes content is typically found in between 60 and 75% of all sewer blockages. Similarly, the majority of emergency call outs to sewage pumping stations are because a pump has become jammed with wipes. Unfortunately, as well as causing great inconvenience and being costly to deal with, these failures are the reason for the majority of both sewage flooding of property and sewage pollution of watercourse incidents.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Wipes that don’t break down should be clearly labelled as ‘do not flush’ and must be disposed over via the bin. Wipes that are used in association with toileting, for example moist toilet tissues, should be disposed of via the WC for public health reasons and therefore be made of materials that readily break down once flushed.
The Fine to Flush Scheme currently administered by WRc is designed to assess performance in the sewer system of those wipes where the correct disposal route is via the WC. The scheme is based on a testing specification, which for the technically minded is also referred to as Water Industry Specification 4-02-06. The testing specification has nine questions/tests that need to be passed before a product can be regarded as safe to flush.
The Fine to Flush testing specification gives details of the requirements and test procedures. Manufacturers and product developers may wish to contact WRc regarding further information and to discuss the most appropriate approaches to testing.
WRc has long been at the forefront of research into wet wipes and their impact on water networks and is proud to be the designated testing facility for all products wishing to gain ‘Fine to Flush’ certification.
If you would like your wipes tested, we would be delighted to hear from you, please complete the attached form.