During the past weeks, there has been a record amount of hygiene products and other inappropriate waste in the sewers. The use of disinfecting wipes, tissues and wet wipes has shown in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area’s pumping stations since the beginning of March. Ungraded waste causes problems in household sewers, the sewage system and the sewage pumping stations.
–The difference compared to the normal situation is considerable. During the worst week, there were 14 openings of pumping station blockages. By Wednesday noon this week, five blockages had been opened, says Petteri Jokinen, head of unit.
A trash bin in the toilet can save you from a big bill
The sewer etiquette is very simple. Only human bodily waste, toilet paper and washing water are allowed in the toilet bowl. A separate trash bin in the toilet may prevent the need to use toilet bowl for inappropriate waste.
Toilet paper is the only paper that dissolves in the sewers. Other types of paper, cotton or plastic products do not dissolve in the sewers. Combined with greasy kitchen waste (which does not belong in the sewers either), big blobs of waste can form at worst. These are prone to cause larger damage.
The costs of blockages are borne by the residents directly or indirectly. Blockages in the property area end up as direct costs. Blockages in the municipal sewage system, sewage pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants, however, cause indirect costs in the form of increased wastewater charges, which may easily be forgotten.
Information on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area water maintenance network
The length of the water maintenance network in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is approximately 9,000 km, of which the sewage system makes up roughly a third. Wastewater from around 1.2 million inhabitants flows in the sewage system to be cleaned at the HSY wastewater treatment plant.
There are 550 wastewater pumping stations in the area through which the wastewater runs from sewers to the wastewater treatment plants. The functioning of the pumping stations is constantly monitored with the help of a software. The pumping stations as well as the sewage system in general are systemically maintained under normal and exceptional conditions alike.
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