Single use wet wipes block pipes

Single use wet wipes block pipes

Posted by The Leader on on 15th Jan 2020

Sydney Water has put out a plea to residents of Bangor, Barden Ridge, Lucas Heights, Menai and Woronora to stop flushing wet wipes and other bathroom products down the toilet.

This follows a series of wastewater pipe blockages in the Woronora area where significant quantities of wipes and other products have needed to be manually removed.

Shaun Gardner, Operations Leader South, at Sydney Water said “We have needed to remove major blockages in the main wastewater pipe at Prices Circuit, Woronora, and throughout the wastewater system on a number of occasions.

“We are asking that local residents stop using their toilet like a rubbish bin and dispose of wet wipes and other bathroom products properly.

“Even though these products might state that they are flushable on their packaging, the reality is that they don’t break down and as a result, cause blockages in Sydney Water’s wastewater pipes.

“Even worse for local residents, wipes and other products can cause blockages and damage to private sewer pipes. One Sydney resident reported a $16,000 plumbing bill to repair her private sewer pipes caused by her flushing wet wipes”,Mr Gardner said.

Sydney Water spends millions of dollars every year physically removing wet wipes and other materials from their wastewater network, which is a problem for all utilities across Australia and globally.

Sydney Water’s ‘Clean up not down’ campaign stresses that we should always use a rubbish bin to dispose of wipes or any other bathroom products, rather than flushing them down the toilet and similarly, don’t dispose of fats, oils and greases or any other food scraps and waste down the sinks - use your rubbish bin.

And It’s not just wet wipes that should not be flushed down the toilet.

People would be very surprised to know that facial tissues, although they are made from fine materials, do not break down and should not be flushed.

Similarly, products like make-up wipes, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, nappies, female sanitary products, condoms, cigarette butts, cotton buds, dental floss, hair and unwanted medication should never be flushed down the toilet, but should be placed in the bin.

Mr Gardner added, “remember the three Ps – the only things that you should flush down your toilet are pee, poo and paper!”