What is Sydney Water doing about this?
We have been working with our peak national body, Water Services Association of Australia on how to manage this issue in regards to products make, packaging and customer educations. Currently, there is an absence of an Australian, or indeed an international. standard on flushable products and the associated packaging.
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 breakdown quickly enough for our wastewater system. 'Flushable' wet wipes may clear your toilet bowl, however they do not break down quickly enough for our wastewater system. This can lead to blockages and sewage overflows into customer's homes and creeks.
Are there any wipes I can flush?
We recommend that people don't flush ANY wipes down the toilet. They don't break down like toilet paper so can clog your pipes and ours.
Who are flushing wet wipes?
Our research has estimated that 1 in 4 people in Sydney are flushing wet wipes, and 72% of people who flush wet wipes are unsure or think they're biodegradable. The key demographic of flushers are males aged 15-44. Who would have thought?
What is the result of flushed wet wipes?
Flushed wet wipes can cause blockages in your own private sewer pipes which can result in expensive plumbing bills at your cost. Flushed wet wipes can also cause blockages in our system, which can lead to overflows into our local waterways and customer homes. This is a bad outcome for everyone!