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  • 24 Jul 2017
    The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is certainly pertinent when we talk about everything from rubbish disposal, food waste and anything to do with plumbing and sanitation. However, as Iain Thomson, senior business development engineer at ATAC describes, one tiny new development is causing chaos the length and breadth of the country. And the time for action is now. We had a bit of good news recently. ITV News reported that, after serious pressure, wet wipes manufacturers will apply a 'do not flush' label to their products in a bid to stop blockages. Apparently the governing body for wet wipes, EDANA, has reported that its members, who include P&G and Johnson & Johnson, have given in to pressure by agreeing to re-label products with warnings not to flush them down the toilet. But is this all a storm in a cistern? Between August 2015 and July 2016, Northumbrian Water was informed about 1,860 blockages in the area. As part of this, the company is reminding people that ‘only toilet paper, pee and poo go down the loo’.  It’s encouraging residents to pop nappies, cotton buds, cotton wool, wipes and other bathroom waste into a bin. Most wet wipes do not biodegrade (and even the ones that claim they do take much longer to fall apart than ordinary toilet roll), so they get stuck in the sewers. Oil, grease and food products then build up around them, creating solid “fatbergs” like the 15 tonne blockage discovered under the streets of Kingston, Surrey, in 2013. This monster caused such a build-up of raw sewage in the system that it almost blew the lids off the local manholes. At ATAC, 90% of our call-outs were as a result of problems involving sanitary ware, and practically all involved blockages due to wet wipes and other “foreign material” in the sewage and pipe system. In pumping systems, wet wipes block the impeller (the pump shaft).  They sit on top of a pump causing it to burn out; they disrupt the float mechanisms which are the devices which record levels in tanks giving inaccurate readings; and they clog up inlet pipes, especially in older clay pipes. There is also a wider issue here, and it’s not just about us dealing with a particularly unpleasant disaster at a property when its strikes. It’s about the pressure being put on the UK’s burgeoning infrastructure system, in the face of new housing stock being built, often, off-grid. I’ll give you an example. A couple of months ago I visited a developer whose collection of new-builds was completed off-grid. In just one household the disposal of wet wipes had caused untold damage to the system and resulted in all of the houses suffering what has been described as a catastrophic failure of the waste system, leading to massive insurance claims, appalling neighbourhood relations and a bill of £10,000 for the developer.  And we’re seeing examples like this with increased regularity. So I’m heartened that at least manufacturers have stepped up to the plate on urging responsible disposal of wet wipes. But we need to go further and explain to all users – domestic and commercial – that individual responsibility is vital if we want to keep our taps running and our toilets flushing. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Visit: https://www.atacsolutions.com/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is certainly pertinent when we talk about everything from rubbish disposal, food waste and anything to do with plumbing and sanitation. However, as Iain Thomson, senior business development engineer at ATAC describes, one tiny new development is causing chaos the length and breadth of the country. And the time for action is now. We had a bit of good news recently. ITV News reported that, after serious pressure, wet wipes manufacturers will apply a 'do not flush' label to their products in a bid to stop blockages. Apparently the governing body for wet wipes, EDANA, has reported that its members, who include P&G and Johnson & Johnson, have given in to pressure by agreeing to re-label products with warnings not to flush them down the toilet. But is this all a storm in a cistern? Between August 2015 and July 2016, Northumbrian Water was informed about 1,860 blockages in the area. As part of this, the company is reminding people that ‘only toilet paper, pee and poo go down the loo’.  It’s encouraging residents to pop nappies, cotton buds, cotton wool, wipes and other bathroom waste into a bin. Most wet wipes do not biodegrade (and even the ones that claim they do take much longer to fall apart than ordinary toilet roll), so they get stuck in the sewers. Oil, grease and food products then build up around them, creating solid “fatbergs” like the 15 tonne blockage discovered under the streets of Kingston, Surrey, in 2013. This monster caused such a build-up of raw sewage in the system that it almost blew the lids off the local manholes. At ATAC, 90% of our call-outs were as a result of problems involving sanitary ware, and practically all involved blockages due to wet wipes and other “foreign material” in the sewage and pipe system. In pumping systems, wet wipes block the impeller (the pump shaft).  They sit on top of a pump causing it to burn out; they disrupt the float mechanisms which are the devices which record levels in tanks giving inaccurate readings; and they clog up inlet pipes, especially in older clay pipes. There is also a wider issue here, and it’s not just about us dealing with a particularly unpleasant disaster at a property when its strikes. It’s about the pressure being put on the UK’s burgeoning infrastructure system, in the face of new housing stock being built, often, off-grid. I’ll give you an example. A couple of months ago I visited a developer whose collection of new-builds was completed off-grid. In just one household the disposal of wet wipes had caused untold damage to the system and resulted in all of the houses suffering what has been described as a catastrophic failure of the waste system, leading to massive insurance claims, appalling neighbourhood relations and a bill of £10,000 for the developer.  And we’re seeing examples like this with increased regularity. So I’m heartened that at least manufacturers have stepped up to the plate on urging responsible disposal of wet wipes. But we need to go further and explain to all users – domestic and commercial – that individual responsibility is vital if we want to keep our taps running and our toilets flushing. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Visit: https://www.atacsolutions.com/
    Jul 24, 2017 0
  • 01 Jul 2017
    By Interfix Washrooms For decades it has almost been a rite of passage for schoolboys to sneak off to the toilet for a crafty cigarette, out of sight from teachers and prefects. In what was regarded as a gentler age, the penalty for being found out was probably no more than a severe reprimand from the headmaster Nowadays things are a lot more serious both at schools and of course in the work place. It is now illegal to smoke with severe penalties on hand for employers and schools who flout the law. This applies equally in public areas such as clubs and shopping centres where as well as the potential health hazards – fire is also a major risk. However, it seems that the days are numbered for those who think they can away with a quick smoke in a toilet cubicle thanks to a tiny LED light, no bigger than the size of a screw head. We have developed a system that acts as a silent sentinel for anyone prepared to risk a quick smoke away from prying eyes. The light is connected to a smoke detector which in turn sounds an alarm which goes off in a nearby office. The culprit has no idea that they have even been found out until they hear the knock on the door as the light is virtually undetectable from inside the cubicle – and no alarm actually sounds inside the washroom. While it might all sound a bit “big brotherish” it is a fact that a third of all fires are still caused by irresponsible smokers. It is also a fact that we have seen a growing incidence of people smoking other substances which are equally hazardous. We believe that in the next few years toilet cubicles in every public washroom will have such lights fitted as standard – a silent safeguard in the battle to improve health and safety and an aid in the fight against drug abuse. Visit http://www.interfixgroup.com/  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • By Interfix Washrooms For decades it has almost been a rite of passage for schoolboys to sneak off to the toilet for a crafty cigarette, out of sight from teachers and prefects. In what was regarded as a gentler age, the penalty for being found out was probably no more than a severe reprimand from the headmaster Nowadays things are a lot more serious both at schools and of course in the work place. It is now illegal to smoke with severe penalties on hand for employers and schools who flout the law. This applies equally in public areas such as clubs and shopping centres where as well as the potential health hazards – fire is also a major risk. However, it seems that the days are numbered for those who think they can away with a quick smoke in a toilet cubicle thanks to a tiny LED light, no bigger than the size of a screw head. We have developed a system that acts as a silent sentinel for anyone prepared to risk a quick smoke away from prying eyes. The light is connected to a smoke detector which in turn sounds an alarm which goes off in a nearby office. The culprit has no idea that they have even been found out until they hear the knock on the door as the light is virtually undetectable from inside the cubicle – and no alarm actually sounds inside the washroom. While it might all sound a bit “big brotherish” it is a fact that a third of all fires are still caused by irresponsible smokers. It is also a fact that we have seen a growing incidence of people smoking other substances which are equally hazardous. We believe that in the next few years toilet cubicles in every public washroom will have such lights fitted as standard – a silent safeguard in the battle to improve health and safety and an aid in the fight against drug abuse. Visit http://www.interfixgroup.com/  
    Jul 01, 2017 0
  • 30 Jun 2017
    By Interfix Washrooms Washrooms have always provoked debate probably because we all have to use them so it is no surprise that more recently the discussion has shifted towards unisex and transgender toilets – and as in the past, everyone has a view. This particular argument is likely to run for some time with many traditionalists vehemently opposed to any form of unisex or transgender washrooms, while modernisers are joining together to welcome the development. You might think that companies such as Interfix would be caught between a rock and a hard place as the debate heats up – but the reverse is true. We have adapted to the changing environment and shown that unisex and transgender washrooms can really work when sympathetically planned. Toilet cubicles have become more private with floor to ceiling cubicle divisions for maximum privacy, washrooms have become more open to minimise opportunities for bullying or other anti-social behaviour. Traditionalists still argue that many teenage girls would feel intimidated using a unisex washroom and more vulnerable girls could suffer as a result. Boys are not immune either, particularly those approaching puberty – but in reality this does not seem to be the case. Some also argue that boys are not as hygienic in their toilet habits as girls and this cannot be denied but experience has shown that standards are raised in unisex washrooms. Schools in particular are also under pressure to provide fluid gender facilities and this is more likely to lead to a unisex solution but it does work and while we still have a long way to go before there is universal acceptance, it’s looking more likely that all washrooms could be unisex within the next 10 years. So watch this space. For more information visit http://www.interfixgroup.com/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • By Interfix Washrooms Washrooms have always provoked debate probably because we all have to use them so it is no surprise that more recently the discussion has shifted towards unisex and transgender toilets – and as in the past, everyone has a view. This particular argument is likely to run for some time with many traditionalists vehemently opposed to any form of unisex or transgender washrooms, while modernisers are joining together to welcome the development. You might think that companies such as Interfix would be caught between a rock and a hard place as the debate heats up – but the reverse is true. We have adapted to the changing environment and shown that unisex and transgender washrooms can really work when sympathetically planned. Toilet cubicles have become more private with floor to ceiling cubicle divisions for maximum privacy, washrooms have become more open to minimise opportunities for bullying or other anti-social behaviour. Traditionalists still argue that many teenage girls would feel intimidated using a unisex washroom and more vulnerable girls could suffer as a result. Boys are not immune either, particularly those approaching puberty – but in reality this does not seem to be the case. Some also argue that boys are not as hygienic in their toilet habits as girls and this cannot be denied but experience has shown that standards are raised in unisex washrooms. Schools in particular are also under pressure to provide fluid gender facilities and this is more likely to lead to a unisex solution but it does work and while we still have a long way to go before there is universal acceptance, it’s looking more likely that all washrooms could be unisex within the next 10 years. So watch this space. For more information visit http://www.interfixgroup.com/
    Jun 30, 2017 0