Volunteers needed to asses wet wipe ‘island’ in River Thames

Image above: A previous Wet Wipe Count

Wet wipe mound could ‘change the flow of the River Thames’

Thames21, the charity dedicated to enhancing London’s waterways, is once again extending an invitation to resilient volunteers to roll up their sleeves to asses the wet wipe mound accumulating near Hammersmith Bridge in the River Thames.

The Big Wet Wipe Count is scheduled for Sunday, 1 October, from 10.00am to 2.00pm,

The situation on the south side of the bridge has reached grotesque proportions, now resembling an island of wet wipes spanning an area as large as two tennis courts. Christened “Wet Wipe Island,” the accumulation not only poses a threat to the river’s health but there are fears it could potentially alter the course of the river.

Thames21 said:

“Every time it rains in London, the sewers overflow which means the wet wipes that people flush down the loo end up in the river. The problem is now so bad that hundreds of thousands are depositing on the riverbed.

“To assess the scale of the problem, we are looking for volunteers to survey the wet wipes on the foreshore and record the final number.”

Image above: Scan of the mound – which accumulates yearly – in 2021

Book your place online now

Last year’s count attracted over 50 volunteers, with local MPs, Hammersmith’s Andy Slaughter and Putney’s Fleur Anderson lending their support in tackling what Mr. Slaughter described afterwards as “the Quatermass-style horror that is Wet Wipe Island”.

Anyone is welcome to join the event but the activity is not suitable for those under ten years of age, and children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

The count is scheduled to occur at the south side of Hammersmith Bridge, specifically at the intersection of Castlenau and Riverview Gardens.

To book your place, click here.

Additionally, Thames21 is in search of ten volunteer team leaders, responsible for overseeing each survey transect. Those up for the challenge can reach out to felicity.rhodes@thames21.org.uk for more details.