Thousands of wet wipes are being flushed down Albury's toilets, blocking sewage pipes and pump stations and costing thousands of rate payer dollars to remove each year.
This very serious problem has worsened since the toilet paper shortage caused by COVID-19. We understand the challenges that the shortage presents to households and businesses but it’s critical to remember that wet wipes must NEVER be flushed, even if the packaging claims the product is ‘flushable’.
Quite simply, wet wipes are not flushable. They might disappear down your toilet but once they do, they take a very long time to break down and will certainly clog up our sewerage system, creating a huge removal cost to ratepayers, not to mention giving our staff a very nasty task to perform.
Also, the wipes may not even make it as far as the city’s sewerage network. They can even lodge in your own drains and pipes, leaving you as the householder with a hefty plumber’s bill.
So please remember to keep wipes out of our pipes and save yourself and your community from a significant and expensive problem.
If in doubt, remember the ‘Three P’s rule” – the only things that can be flushed are ‘pee, poo and (toilet) paper (see further information below).
Thanks for your co-operation as we work through this problem together.
What you can do to help
Please help us to keep our wastewater system working and dispose of the following items in your household garbage collection service after use:
- NO Wet Wipes
- NO Rags
- NO Nappies
- NO Sanitary Items
- NO Cotton buds
- NO Dental floss
- NO Fats and oils
- NO Cigarette butts
- YES - ONLY human waste and toilet paper should ever be flushed
What are we doing about the problem?
We have joined an international campaign to combat the flushing of baby wipes and wet wipes that block sewers when flushed down the toilet.
Water utilities from Australia, United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and across Europe agree that only the three P's should be flushed and are calling for products labelled 'flushable' to be labelled 'Do Not Flush' until there is a standard agreed by the water and waste industry.
Common questions about wet wipes
Why can't I flush wet wipes?
Our system is only designed for human waste and toilet paper. Toilet paper is the only material that can break down quickly enough for our wastewater system.
Are there any wipes I can flush?
No. You should not flush ANY wipes down the toilet. Don’t be misled by the packaging. Wipes are just not flushable.
How long does it take for toilet paper and wipes to break down?
See for yourself... check out the video filmed in our Waterview Laboratory using toilet paper and a wet wipe.
Have a blockage you need to report?
We understand that sometimes accidents happen, small children get busy in the smallest room of the house and things fall out of pockets, never to be seen again.
If you need assistance and have a blockage to report, in the first instance, we suggest you contact our customer service team on 02 6023 8111 or after hours or weekends, call 1300 133 391.