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Thousands of dollars getting flushed away

“Pee, poo and paper are the only things that should be flushed down any pipe.”

“Pee, poo and paper are the only things that should be flushed down any pipe.” That’s the mantra of Far North Waters, an alliance between council and Ventia, which looks after our water, wastewater, and stormwater. Its staff say items are continually being flushed down toilets causing major blockages in local networks.

In April alone, there were nine pump station spills and blockages. Each time this occurs it costs over $1000 to clear the blockage. It is ratepayers that bear the brunt of those costs.

Far North Waters is constantly maintaining and checking each of the district’s 15 wastewater systems and confirm that it doesn’t take long for non-disposable items to build up and create blockages. Unwanted items such as clothing, nappies, food, wet wipes and much more are found in the blocked pipes.

Most wet wipes are not biodegradable, even if they claim to be flushable. Wet wipes contain plastic that doesn’t disintegrate like toilet paper. The wipes get stuck in pipes and bind with fat to create rock-hard fatbergs. These cause blockages, and wastewater overflows, which damage our environment and pose a public health risk.

Wastewater systems are designed for human waste and toilet paper only. Toilet paper is the only non-human waste material that can break down quickly in wastewater systems.

You can read more information about wipes in pipes here.