SA Water knows you’re flushing your wet wipes

SA Water knows you’re flushing your wet wipes

New figures released today by SA Water reveal Adelaideians are continuing to clog the sewer network with wet wipes, with the prime offenders flushing in Morphett Vale, Rostrevor and Hillcrest.

Elizabeth East, Adelaide CBD, Christie Downs, Salisbury North, Ingle Farm, Campbelltown and Windsor Gardens represent the list of ‘top 10’ most offending suburbs.  Collectively, they have seen nearly 300 wet wipe-induced blockages during the past year.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Production and Treatment Lisa Hannant hoped a public plea would help curb the unwanted behaviour. Ideally, it would reduce unnecessary costs that come with it.

“Adelaide, it’s time we talk. We see your pipes. They’re full of wet wipes!” said Hannant.

“Unlike toilet paper, wet wipes contain multiple layers of woven fibre. They are not designed to disintegrate. It makes them a menace to our sewer network. Clumps of wet wipes and other unflushables such as tampons, tissues and condoms can build up in our sewerage pipes. They block the flow, leading to overflows on the street or inside people’s homes. What you flush can come back up. Nobody wants their laundry, bathroom or kitchen to be on the receiving end. Luckily, the solution is as simple as only ever flushing the three Ps – pee, poo and (toilet) paper – and putting everything else in the bin.”

No more wet wipes in the loo

Over the past 12 months, wet wipes were directly responsible for 2,500 sewer blockages across SA Water’s statewide network and at customers’ connection points. The utility spent around $2 million to redirect unflushables from pipes, pump stations, and wastewater treatment plants to landfills.

Hannant said introducing a new world-first standard defining what shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet will help consumers make the right choice at the dunny.

“The Australian standard for flushable provides clear pass and fail criteria for manufacturers to label their product as safe to flush. It will help shoppers who want to make the right choice,” said Hannant.

Rinsing food scraps, fats and oils down kitchen sinks instead of putting them in the bin is also problematic. Congealed kitchen waste binding wipes and other solids together to form fatbergs.

“Our sewers do a great job protecting public health. We must respect our toilets and drains instead of treating them like rubbish bins.”

Related Articles:

Send this to a friend