The Northam community in Western Australia is being encouraged to think twice about what it flushes down the toilet after a recent increase in wastewater main blockages in the town.

Water Corporation Goldfields and Agricultural Regional Manager, Trisha Dadd, said wastewater blockages have caused havoc in the local wastewater system.

“Items like socks, jocks, wet wipes, nappies and plastic bags should not be flushed down the toilet as this material does not break down like toilet paper,” Ms Dadd said.

“Over two days last week [week beginning 10 June] our crews pulled 20 tonnes of blockages out of our wastewater system in Northam – that’s 20,000kg of material that should not have been flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink.

“Every year we spend around $50,000 across the region to clear blockages, so we are asking everyone to do the right thing.

“Even if you think that it is ‘just this once’,  if every person thought the same we would have blockages everywhere and that can impact our ability to safely take away wastewater to be treated.”

Ms Dadd said it was also important to not pour fat, oil or grease straight down the kitchen sink as once cooled it solidified and caused blockages.

“This will not only help protect the environment and our wastewater system, but also potentially save you money from having to call a plumber to fix any internal blockages that can result within your home.”

Water Corporation maintains around 317km of wastewater mains in the region, and residents and businesses play an important part in helping to protect this important part of Northam’s infrastructure.

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