NYT: The New York City Sewer System Says Don’t Flush Wipes!

NYT wipes pic

Photo credit to: New York Times

The New York Times had an article today on the damage “flushable” wipes have caused the city.

“The dank clusters, graying and impenetrable, gain mass like demon snowballs as they travel. Pumps clog. Gears falter. Then, there is the final blow, wrought by an intake of sewage that overwhelmed a portion of a north Brooklyn treatment plant.”

The most telling piece of evidence thus far is the $18 million dollars in repair or replacement costs associated with equipment damaged by sewer debris. According to the New York Times,

“The volume of materials extracted from screening machines at the city’s wastewater treatment plants has more than doubled since 2008, an increase attributed largely to the wipes.”

Continue reading the article >

Monster Grinder cuts $78,000 from energy costs


Built in 1977, the Santa Margarita reclaimed water facility was initially intended to provide water for landscape irrigation in the district. During a typical 12-month period today, the facility brings in 680 million gallons of sewage and sends out 620 gallons of reclaimed water. But starting in about 2012, the pumps would begin to lose efficiency as the wipes loading increased. All Pumps, including standbys would have to run to maintain plant production. Once they reached 60 Hz the plant would need to shut down to derag the pumps.

“This upgrade cost significantly less than purchasing a whole new set of pumps,” says Ron Johnson, facilities supervisor for the SMWD facility.

Learn why Johnson agrees with most when he says,”Our choice to go with a new Channel Monster, to me, is priceless.” Read the full case study here.

JWC Sponsors Seminars About Wipes in California and Ontario, Canada

What 2 Flush Summit

JWC is proud to support two important regional meetings focused on what people flush (and what they shouldn’t flush!).

  • May 1 – What 2 Flush Summit, San Diego This event is hosted by the California Water Environment Association and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and features two separate panels of nationally recognized experts. The first panel will focus on the latest technologies, research and updates about nondispersible wipes. The second panel will focus on public outreach campaigns related to no drugs down the drain.
    JWC is proud to sponsor the Summit with our representative MISCOwater and will have a table top booth to demonstrate the latest Wipes Ready Muffin Monster grinders.
  • May 5 – Toilets Are Not Garbage Cans, London, ON Hosted by the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association this workshop will cover the nondispersible wipes issue. The panelists will also provide an update on their efforts to establish an ISO standard for items flushed down the toilet. JWC is proud to sponsor this event with our distributor Envirocan based in Ontario. We will also have a table top booth at this event.

Hairs the Thing: JWC Research Article on Sewer Rag Balls is Published in WE&T Magazine

JWC wipes research article

JWC’s R&D engineers spent the summer of 2014 mixing rags, hair and greases inside our large demonstration pump station at our Santa Ana manufacturing site. The results of how wipes weave together was amazing.

Inside the pond, the team added a preset amount of hair to the ground material to recreate what is found typically in wastewater. In later tests, grease also was added. However, the team discovered hair is the key catalyst for promoting long strips to knit together and create stronger debris balls. The team also discovered any long strips would congregate in corners of the swirling pond and — once a catch point was added — start to knit together with hair to form a rag ball.

The article was featured in the March 2015 edition of WE&T.

Click here to read the article >

Melbourne, Australia Water Agency Removing 8,000 Pounds of Wipes Every Two Weeks

Yabbara Water District

The Age of Australia reports on the Yabbara Valley Water districts ongoing struggles with wipes and rags clogging up their system. The District recently installed grinders to help deal with the problem and relieve their maintenance staff of the dangerous and time consuming job of deragging sewer pumps by hand.

Pat McCafferty, managing director for Yarra Valley Water told The Age:

More than 4000 kilograms of wet wipes were removed from the retailer’s network every fortnight. Some blockages could cost up to $1000 to clear and that Yarra Valley Water was forced to invest in new technology that “munched” the wipes to help avoid blockages. He said the problem was costing Yarra Valley Water about $70,000 a year.

Continue reading on The Age >

New 10K Series Muffin Monster

10K-Inline-OpenChannel (2)

New 10K Muffin Monster® sewage grinder from JWC Environmental packs tough grinding power in a compact package

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2015)The new 10K Series Muffin Monster® from JWC Environmental combines superior waste grinding capabilities in a compact, easy-to-install unit that’s perfectly suited to a variety of wastewater grinding applications. This newest addition to the hard-working family of Muffin Monster grinders is available in pipeline, open channel and pump station configurations that pack big power in a small package.

The 10K Series Muffin Monster® incorporates the same benefits of the larger Monster units, including low-speed operation with high torque and less interrupts. The dual-shaft design actively pulls material into and through the hardened steel cutters, so the grinder can handle a wider variety of debris compared to single-shaft macerators and grinders.

To shred sewer-clogging solids commonly found in waste streams, the 10K Series comes equipped with both top and bottom bearings that prevent shaft deflection. This robust design feature not found in lesser grinders or macerators ensures the longevity of the product and drastically reduces maintenance costs, downtime and operator inconvenience. The smaller particles produced by the 10K units also pass more easily through downstream pumps and pipelines.

The 10K open channel Muffin Monster is an ideal, low-cost solution for smaller wet wells located in facilities such as office buildings, apartment complexes, resorts, retail centers and package treatment plants. Custom stainless steel support frames allow for installation directly at the inlet sewage line on the wall of a pump station or into an existing channel.

The 10K in-line Muffin Monster is ideally suited for protecting sludge pumps, sentive centrifuges, samplers or heat exchangers in resource recovery facilites.  The 2 or 3 hp (1.5 or 2.2 kW) motors provide all the cutting force required to shred tough solids.  Its efficient dual-shafted grinding technolology will not get clogged by wipes or other non-dispersables as is common with high speed macerators.  For added versatility and performance, the 10K Series units are available with 7-, 11- or 13-tooth cutter combinations to fit individual customer applications.

JWC is committed to providing dynamic, reliable products to further combat wipes and other non-dispersibles in the waste stream, and the 10K Series is another addition to the industry-leading Muffin Monster lineup.

Read more about this product Here.

Or, request a quote here

How to Teach Folks What to Flush? How About a Cartoon


The City of Camrose in Canada has come-up with a unique way to teach people what is okay and what is not okay to flush – a cartoon poo race. The illustrated comic strip describes the adventures of several poos racing to the resource recovery plant and all the obstacles they run into along the way – hair, plastics, wipes and other stuff that get’s in their way.

Check out The Epic Poo Race here >


Success Story: TPO Features Cost Saving Channel Monster at California Resource Recovery Plant

The upgraded Channel Monster now efficiently processes rags, wipes and other debris to protect the headworks pumps.

The upgraded Channel Monster now efficiently processes rags, wipes and other debris to protect the headworks pumps.

The magazine TPO (Treatment Plant Operator) has a great problem/solution story in their November issue about our Channel Monster sewer grinder installed at a Southern California resource recovery facility. The grinder helps the facility trim their electrical bill by $78,000 per year by making the pumps far more efficient.

Grinder eliminates wipes problem

Problem: In 2012, the Santa Margarita Water District in California saw a change in the influent at its reclaimed water facility. Disposable wipes were degrading pump performance, requiring all four pumps to run continuously, instead of cycling two pumps at a time. When the pumps could no longer keep up, the plant staff had to derag them by hand, forcing a plant shutdown about every four weeks for two hours and exposing workers to potential injuries from sharps in the rag balls. The labor and the loss of an acre-foot of reclaimed water per month cost $15,000 per year.

Solution: The facility upgraded its Channel Monster from JWC Environmental to a new perforated drum configuration designed to combat wipes and other materials. The upgraded drums are made of durable perforated metal that better traps wipes and forces them into the cutter stack, essentially eliminating clogs.

Result: Since the upgrade, the district has had zero pump clogging issues and has returned to using two pumps at a time. Energy costs decreased by $78,000 per year and manual pump clean-out was eliminated.

To request engineering drawings or flow rates on a Channel Monster, please use our engineering data request >

Sewer rag ball

The new Channel Monster has completely prvented these giant rag balls that were clogging the sewer pumps.

‘A Bunch of Malarky’ – Seattle Calls on Wipes Makers to Prove Claims

A scathing press release from the Seattle Public Utilities notes “most ‘flushable’ products are no such thing.”

The press release is warning customers that what they flush may soon lead to higher sewer fees. All because people are choosing to flush debris and wipes down the toilet rather than throwing them into the trash can.

The SPU spokesperson notes…

Don’t believe those ads promoting so-called “flushable” products that can supposedly be safely disposed of in your toilet. For the most part, the claims are a bunch of malarkey. Even products advertised as “flushable” cause problems in the sewer, as they do not easily break down.

Powerful words from an agency struggling with a costly, smelly and dangerous problem.

The press release details the problems at one sewage lift station in particular – pump station no. 9 along the shores of Lake Washington. According to SPU about 50% of the maintenance costs associated with caring for this station are spent on clearing out clogs. And the work of clearing clogs is disgusting and dangerous for the workers involved.

Worse, if the clogs are not cleared then sewage will overflow into beautiful Lake Washington and harm Seattle’s environment.

Continue reading the SPU press release >

Muffin Monster Grinds Down Pump Station Repair Costs


To prevent pump ragging for good and eliminate the cost of vacuum truck services – the town installed a Muffin Monster sewage grinder.

When Otter Creek Water Reclamation District was faced with expensive reoccurring clean-up costs because of rags, wipes, flushables and debris at their largest wastewater pump station, engineers solved the problem with a Muffin Monster sewage grinder.

The Village of South Elgin, established in 1897, is a picturesque community that attracts visitors and new residents with its old world charm. Located about 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois, the Village’s 22,000 residents rely on three wastewater pump stations. The largest of these is located at the Thornwood Lift Station where flow to the station is about 490 gpm (110 m3/h) and three 40-hp (30 kW) pumps need to move sewage at about 600 gpm (136 m3/h) @ 36’ (11m) TDH. Here, build-up of rags, trash wrappings and other debris were clogging the system and forcing it offline. This necessitated regular cleanings totaling over $19,000 per year…

Learn how they solved their expensive reoccurring clean-up costs caused by flushables >

Channel Monster Sewage Grinder Protects Pumps in Santa Ana


The Channel Monster, custom fitted for Santa Ana manhole, slides down a guide rail for an easy access sewage grinder. (credit: Brian Ige, P.E., City of Santa Ana)

Pumps clogging with debris caused the City of Santa Ana to call for a Channel Monster sewage grinder.   Contributing to the unbudgeted expense in maintenance, operators were having to break open pump fittings to reach the problem area, and pull the rag balls out, every time there was a back up in their system.

“We had to find a solution,” said Nabil Saba, P.E., Acting Water Manager for the City. “Every time the pumps would clog we had to go in there.  It’s a confined space so, not easy.  Every time we had to open the pumps and break the seals.  And every time the workers are exposed to raw sewage.”

Read more about cutting maintenance costs and protecting pumps with this Monster sewage grinder.

Bakersfield (CA) Sewer Collection System Professionals Struggle With Flushed Wipes

According to Bakersfield television station 23ABC the City’s sewer pumping stations are getting jammed full of flushable wipes…

“There’s no safe brand for disposables, none of them break down,” said Mike Connor, Street Superintendent at Public Works. “When they get flushed, they just bind up. And then when they get to the left station, they clog up our pump. Just get in a big old ball.”

View the news story here >

Wipes 101



We’ve all been guilty of flushing those cleverly advertised “flushable wipes” or pre-moistened “personal” wipes down the toilet. What we are failing to realize is that they are creating havoc for our local pump stations in the form rags. This build-up isn’t pretty…

Aging Waste Water Treatment Plant facilities have struggled for years with the problem of “ragging” with no viable solution for those personal wipes, paper towels and other items not designed for flushing but forcibly advertised as so. Wipes and other products do not disintegrate into the water fast enough to pass without strangling pumps.

We all know what happens when sewer lines are broken and backed up. That brown, foul smelling water and sludge enters our homes and destroys our floors and belongings. Take the time to throw those wipes in the trash where they can be properly disposed of. In the mean time JWC Environmental offers a number of flushable wipes and ragging solutions. Make sure to take a look around the site.

In the mean time, make sure to check out some the related flushable wipes stories below:

Washington Post – “Flushable” Personal Wipes Clogging Sewer Systems

USA TodayWipes in the Pipes Snarling Sewers

KSL.comPopular Bathroom Wipes Blamed for Sewer Clogs


VIDEO – WUSA9 –Too Many Flushable Wipes in Pipes

Here’s What a Muffin Monster Can Save You

How much does the trash people are flushing down the toilet cost local sewer agencies?  Few people know and few records have been kept in the wastewater industry. Until now. Starting in 2013 many of the wastewater associations have started gathering detailed research on the cost of clogged sewer pumps – equipment damage, labor costs, overtime, sewer spills, wasted electricity and the expense of retrofitting pumps with better impellers or installing a sewer grinder, such as the Muffin Monster.

What the data gathering efforts are finding is sewer pump ragging is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted effort and needless repair. The research  has found the average cost of clogged sewer pumps is $30,000 per year, per pump station. These pump stations average about 1-10 million gallons per day (150-1500 m3/h) of raw sewage.

Here are some recent studies…

  • Orange County, CA – $30,000 per year/station – Analyzing 10 pump stations for 1 year this agency found they had over $300,000 in additional labor and parts for deragging pumps. At some stations they are deragging pumps on a weekly basis.
  • New England – $29,000 per year/city – According to a survey conducted by a regional wastewater association
  • Southwest Washington State – $32,000 per year/station – This agency added wasted electrical usage to their cost calculations, while also looking at wasted parts and labor costs. As rags build up on the pump’s impeller it causes drag and pumping inefficiency. Variable frequency drives will speed up to move the same amount of wastewater, thus wasting electricity. As the build-up of rags worsens an additional pump may be needed to make-up for the pump that is becoming clogged.
  • Chicago Suburbs, IL – $19,000 per year/station – When this town’s main lift station would rag up, the sewer agency hired a vacuum truck company to go and clean out the lift station and get it working again. This occurred on a weekly basis.

There is a cost even more important to consider when looking for ways to deal with pump ragging – the safety of America’s wastewater professionals. Deragging a pump by hand is not only labor intensive, messy and costly – it’s also dangerous.

When called upon to derag a sewer pump wastewater professionals are exposed to:

  • Confined space danger
  • Hydrogen sulfide gas
  • Hypodermic needles flushed down toilets
  • Raw sewage
  • Diseases and viruses

In the last 5 years alone, JWC Environmental has installed over 4,000 pump station grinders. If each station was costing a local sewage agency roughly $30,000 to deal with, then with the Muffin Monster grinder, which makes pump ragging go away, it’s saving America’s sewer agencies roughly $120,000,000 per year. That’s $120 million every year. But more importantly, at least in our opinion, we’re saving America’s wastewater professionals from the dangerous task of deragging sewer pumps by hand.

Monsters are here to lend a hand. Can we help you wipe out pump ragging? Request a quote or call us at (800) 331-2277.


New Channel Monster Exceeds Expectations For Pump Stations


For pump stations, the third generation Channel Monster® XD surpasses all existing technologies in terms of performance, durability and reduced costs. The system protects pumps and prevents ragging and clogging problems especially those caused by flushable wipes.

The patented Channel Monster integrates rotating screening drums with proven Muffin Monster® grinder technology. The system accommodates high-flows while shredding solids (such as rags, trash, rocks and disposable wipes) into particles that flow harmlessly through pumps, pipes and processes. Screening drums direct solids into the cutters and are made of 1/2” (12mm) stainless steel coil. JWCE offers optional perforated screening drums with 1/4” (6mm) circular openings for higher capture efficiency. Channel Monster XD comes in three sizes – 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0.

Pump stations full of debris are now easier than ever to manage with the Channel Monster’s larger, extreme duty design. Our taller grinders use larger cutters and shafts, allowing it to shred large solids and handle first flush storm loading. Channel Monsters easily replace troublesome bar screens and comminutors — helping you reduce operating and maintenance costs.  Clean, powerful, reliable and cost effective – Channel Monster is the industry’s high-flow grinder of choice!

From compact – the highly-efficient model 1205, to mid-sized – model 4010, powerful and high-flow, to massive – model 9020 is 10′ tall and handles up to 60 MGD.  You are sure to find a unit that can fit your needs.

“Pumping station designers can now replace bar screens with the Channel Monster so operators never have to deal with solids removal and disposal – eliminating vector and odor problems in the neighborhood,” said Rob Sabol, JWC’s Director of Engineering.

Pumping Station Flowing Smoothly Now That It’s Protected by a Channel Monster


The Dana Point Wastewater Pumping Station in Southern California was suffering terribly from rags and trash wrapping around pump impellers. Pumps were ragging up once or twice every week – and these were the fanciest “non-clog” pumps available.

What’s the point of a non-clog pump if it constantly clogs?

The wastewater district installed a small, energy efficient  Channel Monster grinder to chop up all the rags into small particles so the pumps can move wastewater efficiently. Since the Channel Monster was installed none of the pumps have clogged.

It’s working beautifully. We used to de-rag pumps 1-2 times per week. The procedure to de-rag the pumps was time consuming and messy – lock-out, tag-out, crane them up, reach in and pull out the rag ball.  It would take two men about 30 minutes to do. This is much better.” – Pump Station Operator

Learn more about the Channel Monster

Macho Monsters Protect Moonlight Beach Pump Station From Rags


Moonlight Beach pumping station in Southern California has a beautiful sandy beach just one block south and Cottonwood Creek just a few steps away so there is no room for wastewater back-ups and overflows.

To ensure the average daily flow of 1-million gallons of wastewater flows smoothly – no matter what comes down the sewer line – engineers from Kennedy-Jenks specified three in-line model 40000 Macho Monster grinders.

Continue reading

Macho Monsters Protect Sewage Pumps in the OC


When a Southern California wastewater district faced nightmarish pump ragging and clogging issues in one of their largest lift stations – operators knew exactly what to do. They recommended installing the industry leading Muffin Monster® sewage grinder – or in this case – its bigger brother the Macho Monster.

Operators from Moulton Niguel Water District were clearing out sewage pumps every other day at the Lower Salada Lift Station located near the coastline in Orange County. The dry-pit station is deep underground with a congested working area. During peak flow, the three 400-hp (300-kW) pumps need to move millions of gallons (40-175 l/s) of sewage to the treatment plant to prevent a back-up or overflow.

Read how they solved their pump ragging problem >

JWCE is Awarded $1.2M Sewage Grinder Project to Remove Aging Bar Screens in Pump Stations

JWC’s Channel Monster XD 2.5 will replace bar screens.

JWC Environmental received a $1.2 million dollar order this week for several of our large Channel Monster® XD2.5 grinders. These massive systems were ordered to replace old climber bar screens located in pump stations throughout the New England area.  The old screens were causing several problems, including falling apart, increased maintenance, rising costs and odor concerns.

The new, powerful Channel Monsters can handle nearly 60 million gallons per day of wastewater and use two rows of sharp steel cutter teeth to shred trash, rags, rocks, branches and debris into small particles that flow easily through pumps and pipes.

Screenings can then pass through the pump station and be screened out when they reach the headworks of the wastewater treatment plant. This eliminates noise, cost, odor and access problems associated with screening debris inside pump stations. JWC’s exclusive immersible motors also allow reliable grinding  very deep pump stations, like these New York City Dept of Environmental Protection (NYC-DEP) facilities, where periodic flooding can occur.

Consulting engineers, Dvirka and Bartilucci, specified the patented Channel Monsters and is managing the design work. JWC representative G.P. Jager & Associates is overseeing the integration of these Monsters as part of the NYC-DEP pumping station upgrade projects. Channel Monsters are made in the USA at JWC’s two factories in Santa Ana, California and Buford, Georgia.

Pump Station News: ‘We Are Going to Have to Install a Monster’

According to the Mississippi Press newspaper a brand new Interstate 10 rest stop is now closed after motorists started flushing strange items down the toilets. Coming to the rescue? AMuffin Monster sewage grinder. The JWCE Team will get it built and shipped as fast as possible to get this rest stop back up and running.

“We’ve had some problem with motorists flushing things in the toilet system that should not be flushed such as diapers and feminine hygiene products,” said Kelly Castleberry, Mississippi Department of Transportation district engineer.

He said a couple of grinder pumps burned out under the onslaught.  ”Now, we are going to have go in there and install a monster,” he said.

Read the story here >