Toilet paper rush no time to forget what to flush

Media Release

5 March

Sydney Water is reminding Greater Sydney residents to only flush the three P’s down the toilet, in the wake of a lack of availability of toilet paper in supermarkets.

In recent days media has reported that people are using other sanitary products, such as wet wipes and facial tissues and flushing these into the wastewater system.

Sydney Water spokesperson Jackson Vernon said only the three pees can be flushed down your toilet – pee, poo and (toilet) paper. “Even though wet wipes might state that they are flushable on their packaging, the reality is that they don’t break down and cause blockages in Sydney Water’s wastewater pipes as a result.”

“Wipes can cause system chokes and damage to private sewer pipes. One Sydney resident reported a $16,000 plumbing bill to repair her private sewer pipes caused by her flushing wet wipes.”

“People would be very surprised to know that facial tissues, although they are made from fine materials, do not break down and should not be flushed.”

Sydney Water spends millions of dollars every year physically removing wet wipes and other materials from their wastewater network, which is a problem for all utilities across Australia and globally.

Sydney Water’s ‘Clean up not down’ campaign asked customers to use a rubbish bin to dispose of wipes or any other bathroom products, rather than flushing them down the toilet.

“We also ask customers not to dispose of fats, oils and greases or any other food scraps and waste down the sinks - instead use your rubbish bin.

“Other products like make-up wipes, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, nappies, female sanitary products, condoms, cigarette butts, cotton buds, dental floss, hair and unwanted medication should never be flushed down the toilet, but should be placed in the bin.”