Staff from Unitywater, QLD who spend their working days in sewage treatment plants are sending Christmas greetings and a humorous plea to the tune of Jingle Bells for people to be careful what they put down their toilets.

Prawn heads, fats and oils from festive feasts and disposable wipes are on their list of stuff that should never be flushed. They feature in the team’s reworking of the Christmas carol, which they sing with gusto, if not exactly Australian Idol ability.

Glen Babington, Executive Manager Infrastructure Services at Unitywater, said the team had taken to song because a healthy mix of good humour and holiday spirit would be a great way to bring home important messages.

“Unfortunately, as convenient as disposable wipes are, they shouldn’t be flushed because they aren’t the same as toilet paper and our sewage treatment processes can’t break them down,” says Mr Babington.

“We have to pull them out of sewage pipes, pumps and filters, along with all the other rubbish that the system was never designed to handle.

“That’s quite a job and it adds to our costs. Unitywater spends around $600,000 a year removing rubbish from our sewage treatment plants. This doesn’t help us to keep bills as low as possible for our customers.”

The Unitywater carollers bursting into song on YouTube are appealing to the million-plus holiday makers and the 750,000 residents of the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay region who flush every day.

“When blockages happen, they can cause problems in the treatment plants and sewage overflows in homes and the environment,” Mr Babington said.

“The humble toilet is very easy to take for granted, however a great deal of infrastructure and quite a number of people work around the clock to make sure it all works as it should, so you don’t need to think about it.”

Lyrics:

Jingle bells, sewage smells

Drains should be your friend

Everything you put down there

Gets sent here in the end!

Oh!

Jingle bells, pipes can smell

Block and overflow

It’s quite a job to clean them out

Here’s what you need to know

 

Please don’t flush your wipes

Don’t drop your gloves in too

Please don’t think they go away

When you flush them down the loo.

Comes from toilets, sinks and drains

From home and business too

And let us not forget

All the paper pee and —-

 

Eww!

Jingle bells, sewage smells

Drains should be your friend

Everything you put down there

Gets sent here in the end!

Oh!

Jingle bells, pipes can smell

Block and overflow

It’s quite a job to clean them out

Here’s what you need to know

 

It’s quite a sight round here

When things don’t go to plan

So when we get the chance we tell

Everyone we can.

Please don’t flush your prawns

Cotton buds or apple skin

Oil and fat should stay out too

Put it in the bloody bin!

 

Oh!

Jingle bells, sewage smells

Drains should be your friend

Everything you put down there

Gets sent here in the end!

For us it’s quite a job

That ends up costing you

So please think twice before you flush

And learn to love your loo!

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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