Whether it's seen as a loo, john or dunny, SA Water is encouraging everyone to take stock of the unsung hero of public health and help raise awareness around global sanitation standards as part of World Toilet Day.
Officially recognised by the United Nations in 2013, the annual event works toward ensuring everyone has safe access to a toilet by 2030. The 2018 theme for today is "When Nature Calls" to put a focus on nature-based toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with the environment.
SA Water's General Manager Communications & Engagement Anna Jackson said with the average person spending around three months of their life on the toilet, having easy access to one is something many take for granted.
"Using a functioning, safe toilet system is a staple for most people here in Australia, but the reality is 2.3 billion people globally don't have this same privledge, with roughly 62 per cent of people around the world without access to safe sanitation," Anna said.
"Approximately 289,000 children under five die each year from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation and water, with a lack of proper hygene keeping children out of school and adults out of work.
"Women going to the toilet outside face harassment and even attack, and girls drop out of school unable to manage their periods privately.
"On World Toilet Day, we are proud to be supporting not-for-profit organisation WaterAid in efforts to Improve sanitation in developing countries, which has so far provided more than 25 million people across the world with access to suitable toilets since 1981."
SA Water's sanitation services play a critical role in protecting the public health for more than 1.7 million South Australians, which includes more than 8,700 kilometres of sewer pipes in metropolitan Adelaide and three main wastewater treatment plants.
"Despite most South Australians having access to world-class wastewater services, we still spend around $400,000 a year in the metropolitan Adelaide region removing non-flushable items that cause blockages in our sewage network, with wet wipes one of the major culprits," Anna said.
"Our crews have previously retreived items such as false teeth, rubber chickens and even 250 metres of rope from our system, and we encourage everyone not to take for granted their access to toilets and only flush the three P's - pee, poo and paper."
SA Water invites anyone interested in helping support better global sanitation to visit wateraid.org/au.
For media enquiries, please call or email SA Water’s media team:
Phone: (08) 7424 2477
Mobile: 0477 300 197 (24/7)
For all other SA Water-related enquiries, please call our Customer Care Centre on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283).