By Brooke Winner and Jacque Boudreau
Evolving Waste Stream
The modern waste stream is continuously increasing in solids content. In recent years, wastewater professionals have witnessed unprecedented growth in flushable wipes being deposited and accumulating in the waste stream. The consumer and industrial wipes market was estimated around $2.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $3–5 billion by 2023. These wipes are used for a variety of things ranging from personal hygiene to disinfection of the home and workspace.
According to EPA, US public water consumption has steadily decreased since 1995 due in part to the growth of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures. Since 2011, low-flow toilets have been required in new homes, this new technology requires only 1.6 gallons per flush compared to conventional toilets requiring 3.5 gallons. The reduction in water consumed by these modern fixtures have caused a denser waste stream due to a higher solid to liquid ratio.
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