Monday 21 April 2014

Flushability Update

More from INDA's Vision 2014 - Dallas...

Steve Ogle, Technical Director of INDA reported that the focal point for communicating with the Waste Water Treatment (WWT) industry was now the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).  NACWA were supporting the EDANA/INDA 2013 Guidance Document 3 and their Code of Practice (CoP) which required wipes producers, retailers and consumers to insist on the use of the “Do Not Flush” (DNF) label on wipes that did not meet the CoP.   A pilot consumer education program was underway in Portland Maine and this would develop into a campaign for WWT operators nationwide.

The CoP is based on the use of the 7 sequential fabric tests developed by EDANA/INDA all of which have to be passed to avoid the DNF label.  The tests are:

·         FG501 – Toilet and drainline clearance.
·         FG502 – Slosh box disintegration test
·         FG503 – Household Pump Test
·         FG504 – Settling Test
·         FG505 – Aerobic Biodegradation
·         FG506 – Anaerobic Biodegradation
·         FG507 – Municipal pump test

These tests effectively screen out any product with permanent wet strength – including Kleenex tissues - according to one participant.   Non-compliant products, which will now need to show a DNF label prominently include Baby Wipes, FemHi wipes, Disinfecting wipes, Haemorrhoidal wipes, cosmetic wipes and any of the older “flushable by size” products.  Feminine Hygiene products and paper towels are too strong to flush but are not in the scope of GD3.  

Mr Ogle reminded us that INDA’s investigation of municipal pump blockages indicated that 47% of the problem was paper towels, 18% Baby Wipes, 14% Household wipes, 13% Fem Hygiene, and 8% Flushable wipes.

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