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Keep wipes out of pipes!

East Gippsland Water

24 November 2023

East Gippsland Water is asking for your help to keep wipes out of the sewer pipes, the number one cause for blockages in the sewer system.

Even though some wipes are labelled as ‘flushable’, cleaning wipes, baby wipes, makeup wipes and other similar products do not break down in the sewer system and flushing these products down the toilet can cause sewer blockages that require costly repairs.

East Gippsland Water Acting Executive Manager Service Delivery, Judd Boeker, said: We need customers to help us keep the pipes clear so that the contents flow to the treatment plant instead of being blocked up, or worse, flowing back to the customer.

“We care about our waste water network and we want our customers and visitors to think carefully about what they put down the drain or flush down the toilet.

“Wipes are the number one cause of blockages at our Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Water Recycling Plants and our operators currently spend an average of two to four hours a week removing all kinds of wipes from our screening systems.

“Unless wipes display the new flushable logo referencing AS/NZS 5328, I would encourage everyone to stick to flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper.”

Other items customers should be mindful not to put down the toilet or drain include:

  • Oil, grease or fat
  • Sanitary pads, tampons, incontinence pads and nappies
  • 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 workers).

If you do experience a blockage you are advised to call a plumber to determine the problem.


The image shows the screening system at our Bairnsdale Water Recycling Plant, with one side of the screening system nice and clear with minimal obstruction and the other badly blocked.