The porcelain protector of public health should only be a one-way street, and on World Toilet Day, SA Water is urging Adelaideians to only flush the three Ps – paper, pee or poo – to help prevent sewage making an unwelcome reappearance.
In recent years, weird, gross and unwanted items flushed into the utility’s sewerage network have resulted in more than 7,500 blockages across the metropolitan area.
SA Water General Manager of Customers, Strategy and Innovation Anna Jackson said World Toilet Day is an excellent time to talk about flushing etiquette.
“Our message is simple – if it’s not paper, pee or poo, don’t flush it down the loo,” Anna said.
“The most common and problematic things we have to remove from the sewers are wet wipes, pads, tampons and condoms, as well as fats and oils coming down kitchen drains.
“Unlike toilet paper, wet wipes don’t break down in water. Wads of them can build up behind another foreign object in the pipe, such as tree roots, or get stuck in congealed fats and oils to form a blockage – which may result in sewage coming back up the wrong way from your toilet or drains.
“Keeping our sewers healthy is a shared responsibility, and for our customers, it can help avoid the awful experience of sewage overflows in their homes.
“We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year removing items from our sewer networks which don’t belong there and taking them to landfill, and despite our rather gross photos and videos we’ve been sharing online to encourage better flushing habits, we’re continuing to experience blockages and overflows.”
Officially recognised by the United Nations in 2013, the annual the annual World Toilet Day works toward ensuring everyone has safe access to a toilet by 2030.
“We’re lucky in Australia to have access to working toilets and a reliable sewerage network, especially when around 2.5 billion people around the world live without this privilege,” Anna said.
“For many around the world, a toilet is not just a toilet. It saves lives, ensures dignity, allows education, provides opportunities and protects the environment.
“It can be taken for granted and unfortunately we’re not looking after our toilets as well as we could, but by sticking to the three Ps, we can all do our bit every day to safeguard our pipes and homes.”
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