Power and Water Corporation is reminding the community that flushing anything other than the three Ps – poo, pee and toilet paper – could result in sewage overflows in their homes.
The emptying of supermarket shelves of toilet paper, wet wipes and facial tissues has prompted the utility to sound the alarm on the unintended consequences of flushing toilet paper alternatives.
“Only toilet paper is designed to break down effectively. Other products are designed with a stronger weave, and if flushed, can cause a sewer blockage or ‘fatberg’ in our network,” Power and Water Executive General Manager Water Services Steven Porter said.
“It is possible these blockages may end up pushing things back up toilets, which will be a very unpleasant and costly experience for households.
“If people have no choice but to use toilet paper alternatives, please dispose of these items in a plastic-lined lidded bin in your bathrooms. You should then empty this into your outdoor bin regularly.”
This advice also applies to wipes which are labelled ‘flushable’.
Mr Porter said utilities around the world removed hundreds or even thousands of sewerage system blockages caused by wipes and other rubbish.
“All this damage and cost are completely avoidable,” he said.
“Power and Water is an essential services provider, and in these uncertain times our mission is to keep drinking water safe, maintain sewerage services and keep the power on.
“Any remedial work that can be avoided by our customers doing the right thing and only flushing the three Ps would be of great help to us.”
The community can also help avoid sewage overflows by keeping overflow relief gullies located outside their house free of blockages.
These drain-like fittings have a grate that pops out in the event of a sewer blockage.
This action releases sewerage outside the home, keeping the interior of your house and its contents safe from nasty surprises.
Over the years, Power and Water has pulled various household items from the sewerage network, including blankets, unopened tins of soup, car parts and jewellery.
For more information about what can be flushed down toilets, go to www.powerwater.com.au/customers/water-and-wastewater/only-flush-the-3ps
Contact: Media unit
Phone: 0401 117 599