Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management // Montanuniversitaet Leoben

Study Analysis and persistence of wet wipes in sewer systems

Project description

The problem of wet wipes is known worldwide and has been described. However, the number of reliable publications is limited. Wet wipes lead to clogging of wastewater lifting pumps in pump works and treatment plants, more maintenance work in clarification tanks and clogging of digestion tanks. 

In the context of this study, the problem is explicitly associated with the wet wipes.

To demonstrate the issues around wet wipes, the floating layer of a pump station was sampled, the rake material of a treatment plant was picked through for wet wipes and a clogged wastewater channel pump was opened and examined.

Furthermore, the attempt was made to clog a pump using actual wet wipes.
This trial was to find out how many wet wipes are needed for this, and how relevant the content of artificial or mixed fibre is.

Based on the results, the end-of-life costs of disposal of wastewater up to the rake were determined and measures for remedying the problem were proposed.

Ft Bild 2

Wet wipe clogging in a rake system (top right), clogging pumps (left) and other treatment plant systems (bottom right)


Aims of the project

The aim of the project is to answer the following questions:

  1. Is it possible to unambiguously demonstrate the problems caused by wet wipes in wastewater systems?
  2. Is it possible to describe the problematic consistency of wet wipes?
  3. What confirmed data on this issue can be established in this study?
  4. How high are the estimated end-of-life costs for wastewater removal up to and including rake systems?
  5. What remedial action can be recommended?



GsaKlobal Gemeinschaft Steirischer Abwasserentsorger



Studie "Analysis and persistence of wet wipes in sewer systems" by Mag. Dr. Martin Wellacher & Melanie Leitner.



You can send a message directly to the leader of the working group Mister Prof. Roland Pomberger by using the following form.

Roland Pomberger

Roland Pomberger

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont.
Head of Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management

Phone: +43 3842 / 402-5150
Cell: +43 676 / 84 53 86-700
Fax: +43 3842 / 402-5102
E-mail: roland.pomberger@unileoben.ac.at


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Study Analysis and persistence of wet wipes in sewer systems