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Sydney Water Makes a Stand on Not-So-Flushable Wipes

Are you among the thousands of Australian households that regularly use wet wipes?

While these wipes are a useful household good with a range of uses, from cleaning to personal hygiene, did you know that they could cost you thousands in damages to your home’s plumbing system?

Increasing Popularity

Wet wipes have become increasingly popular both in Sydney and around Australia, with many consumers viewing these as a more comfortable alternative to toilet paper. In fact one in three Sydneysiders regularly buy wet wipes, with young men the largest user group.

Other wipes meanwhile are promoted as useful in personal hygiene, like makeup removal and skin care, or for cleaning bathrooms and kitchen areas. Many of these wipes promote themselves as being ‘flushable’, safe for disposal down the toilet after use.

Sydney Water Makes a Stand on Not-So-Flushable Wipes

The Ugly Truth

In reality however these wipes are causing havoc to Sydney homes and businesses, clogging up sewage systems and costing thousands of dollars in repairs.

Sydney Water estimates that around one million residents are regularly flushing wet wipes down their toilets. Despite most of these wipes being labelled as ‘flushable’ on packaging, the truth is these products could be doing serious damage to your plumbing.

Not Quite Flushable

While toilet paper takes on average 30 seconds to disintegrate in water, these ‘flushable’ wet wipes can take up to 30 minutes or longer to break up. Studies by consumer groups show some wet wipes not disintegrating at all, leading to blocked pipes and plumbing problems.

According to Sydney Water statistics, around 75% of sewer blockages involved wet wipes being flushed down toilets. Wet wipes stuck in household pipes have seen thousands of local residents suffer from blocked pipes, sewage leaks into homes or nearby areas, and other related plumbing problems.

These ultimately mean thousands of dollars in repairs for households, with professionals required to come in and manually remove wet wipes from plumbing systems.

Unfortunately in most cases these costs could have been avoided by simply throwing wet wipes into the bin, rather than flushing them down the toilet and clogging up toilet pipes.

Sydney Water Responds

Local estimates meanwhile show that up to $15 million is being spent each year on the removal of wet wipes from Sydney’s waterways and sewage systems. Water authorities in the United Kingdom also reported spending around $24 million each year on repairs and maintenance related to wet wipes in their systems.

This has led Sydney Water to issue warnings to consumers on properly disposing of these wipes, rather than flushing down the toilet. Without change, Australian households could see themselves slugged with increased water costs as water companies try to repair the damage done by these wipes.

The Facts

  • Around one in three Sydney residents regularly purchase wet wipes
  • Over one million kilograms of wet wipes were flushed down toilets in the last 2 years
  • The cost of removing these from Sydney Water systems is expected to grow
  • Residents are spending thousands in fixing plumbing problems caused by flushing wet wipes

Local households are increasingly finding themselves stuck with thousands of dollars in plumbing bills, with meters upon meters of these wet wipes having to be removed from their plumbing systems.

When it comes to keeping your plumbing system in good working order, avoid putting these so-called ‘flushable’ wet wipes in the toilet, and throw them in the bin instead.

If you’re experiencing problems with ‘flushable’ wipes clogging up your plumbing system, or you have any other plumbing needs, our complete plumbing service can get your water flowing again.

For any plumbing job you require, JEDI Plumbing is the number to call. With 24 hours a day emergency plumbing service now is the time to call on 0411 774 381.