Wastewater tips

Large pile of dirty wet wipes being removed from the sewer

This is what it looks like when we pull 'flushable' wipes from our wastewater system!

There’s a big problem lurking in our sewers, and we need your help!

In the past two years, the amount of wet wipes we've found in our wastewater system has increased dramatically.

We remove 500 tonnes of wet wipes from our sewers each year.
 
In some cases, we need to remove them manually before they cause overflows into homes or creeks.

This problem is occurring world wide. 

London, New York and all Australian water utilities are facing the same problem.
 


 
  • One in four people in Sydney are flushing wet wipes – that’s a lot of people!

  • Over 70% of people flushing wet wipes think they’re biodegradable. However, they don't break down in the wastewater system like toilet paper and can lead to blockages in your pipes and the sewer.

  • Wipes can get stuck in both our system and your sewage pipes. A blockage caused by flushed wet wipes could cost you $1,000 to fix in plumbing bills.

  • Wet wipes increase the risk of pipe breaks and then overflows to our local creeks and rivers. This has an impact on the natural environment for all of us.

  • About 75% of all sewer blockages involve wet wipes.

  • Flushed wet wipes are costing our community $8 million every year and this figure is growing!

  • 'Flushable’ wet wipes may clear your toilet bowl. However, they can combine with fats, oils and other things that shouldn’t be flushed to form big, congealed clumps – or ‘fatbergs’ – in the sewer.

Help us keep our wastewater system working properly. You should only ever flush human waste and toilet paper.

Please dispose of the following items in your household garbage collection service after use:

  • 'Flushable' wipes - Keep wipes out of the pipes!
  • Rags
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary items
  • Cotton buds
  • Dental floss
  • Fats and oils
  • Cigarette butts.