Stop it. Don’t block it – “Flushable” wipes block sewer pipes In an issue of major concern for the water industry, East Gippsland Water would like to remind customers not to flush wet wipes down the toilet, despite packaging explicitly labelling these wipes as “flushable”. Baby wipes, makeup wipes and other similar products do not break down in the sewerage system. As a result, flushing these products down the toilet can cause sewer blockages, which require costly repairs. Currently, East Gippsland Water spends more than $100,000 each year to address sewer blockages, with about 95 percent of those blockages directly related to wipes. In what is a growing issue, East Gippsland Water has seen a 25 percent increase in wipe-related incidents in the past two years alone. In fact, flushing wet wipes down the toilet has become so widespread that the Water Services Association of Australia, the Australian water industry’s peak body, estimates that wipe-related incidents cost Australia’s urban water corporations more than $15 million every year.
All East Gippsland Water customers can do their bit to improve this situation by ensuring they do not flush wet wipes down the toilet, even if the packaging says they are flushable. Other items customers should be mindful not to put down the toilet or drain include:
Sanitary pads, tampons, incontinence pads and nappies
Oil, grease or fat
Non-biodegradable detergents and products
Food scraps (consider composting these for the garden)
Salt, paint products, garden chemicals, fertilisers and herbicides (these products damage household drains and have the potential to injure our maintenance workers) Said East Gippsland Water’s Acting Managing Director, Rob Carlesso: “Customers should think of the consequences of putting the wrong things down the toilet because sewer blockages and possible leaks cause customer inconvenience, negative environmental impacts and are costly to repair. We thank you for your cooperation in tackling this issue.”
If you encounter a sewer problem, please call our 24 hour emergency and faults service on 1300 134 202.