A caravan park director feels their efforts to operate an eco-friendly site are being hampered by families using wet wipes in place of toilet paper. The fast-growing problem at Skelwith Fold Caravan and Motorhome Park in Ambleside, has affected the way they process sewerage naturally through their specially planted reed bed.
Wet wipes, unlike toilet paper, do not degrade in time to pass through the reed bed where waste water is treated organically. Instead, the wipes are absorbing pollutants such as fat and grease which clog up pipes and damage the pumps. However, in a bid to end the problem, the park is now offering premium brand toilet roll to every guest in exchange for any wet wipes they have. At its busiest time the park plays host to more than 400 families and the park’s biological purification system copes very well. If visitors take up the park’s offer the problem will be solved. The park is keen to stress that the offer is open to mobile home owners as well as caravan owners. The park is popular with people taking out motorhome insurance and heading to view the Lake District’s gorgeous scenery.
The Director said: “We don’t blame our holidaymakers because the packaging on many of these products claims that they are biodegradable or flushable – but this simply isn’t the case. Ordinary toilet paper disintegrates within seconds of being in contact with water, but wet wipes do not break down and can cause unspeakable problems once they enter the system. In high season, we estimate that a lavatory is being flushed every 30 seconds at Skelwith Fold, and we designed our reed bed to handle comfortably this volume of effluent. In the past twelve months the park has seen an increase in the use of wet wipes which is not helping the parks aim of putting nature in place of industrialised treatment.”