The Riverview sewage pump station in Ipswich (QLD) is consistently being blocked by wet wipes, and Queensland Urban Utilities is urging residents to stop flushing wet wipes down the toilet to help keep the local sewerage network healthy.
Many wipes, including those labelled ‘flushable’, do not disintegrate quickly when flushed, contributing to blockages in both household plumbing and the wider network.
Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said wipes were a particular problem at the sewage pump station in Riverview Rd at Riverview.
“We’ve noticed an increase in the number of wet wipes arriving at the pump station each day,” she said.
“It’s an issue because they get stuck in the pumps and equipment, and have to be manually cleared and transported to landfill.”
A new survey has shown almost one in five people are now disposing of wipes labelled ‘flushable’ down the toilet.
“We remove around 120 tonnes of wet wipes from our sewerage network every year. Laid end-to-end, that’s enough wipes to stretch all the way from Brisbane to New Zealand,” Ms Cull said.
“We’re asking everyone to only flush the three P’s – pee, poo and paper.”
Ms Cull said the removal of wet wipes from the network was adding to the cost of the sewage treatment process.
“Each year we spend $2.5 million clearing around 2500 blockages in sewer pipes and wet wipes are a big contributing factor,” she said.
“We’re asking people to dispose of all wipes, whether they’re labelled ‘flushable’ or not, in the rubbish bin.
“Just because something can be flushed, doesn’t mean it should be.”