Whether you call it a dunny, loo or porcelain throne, the toilet is a household fixture we all rely on every day – but how much do you really know about what happens to everything that gets flushed down it?
Families and children of all ages in Murray Bridge can find out first-hand about where their ones and twos go, thanks to a series of SA Water educational shows taking place as part of the Murray River Splash Festival.
Running for the remainder of the school holidays, A Story Well Told provides an interactive look at the wastewater process, and the importance of keeping the state’s sewers and waterways clean and healthy.
SA Water’s Education Adviser Cam O’Malley said the sessions are a fun and engaging way to demonstrate how everyone can help protect the environment, just by being mindful of what they flush down the toilet.
“Poo might seem like a gross topic to talk about, but with our treatment plants processing millions of litres of wastewater each year, to be returned to the environment or recycled for other uses, it’s important that everyone knows what can and can’t be flushed, to help protect our precious natural resources,” Cam said.
“Participants can learn about the journey of wastewater from when it leaves your toilet or sink, all the way through to one of many treatment plants across South Australia, and there’s a fun hands-on component for everyone to make a batch of ‘poo slime’ to take home.
“Keeping our sewers healthy is a shared responsibility and educating the younger generations in particular is an important way we can preserve good flushing habits into the future.”
SA Water’s advice to only flush the three Ps – poo, pee and (toilet) paper – has been particularly important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with a lack of available toilet paper supplies seeing the utility record a near 30 per cent increase in sewer blockages from March to April last year, during the state-wide lockdown.
“We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year removing ‘unflushables’ like wet wipes, tampons and sanitary pads from the state’s sewer pipes and wastewater treatment plants, when these items should instead be placed in the bin,” Cam said.
“If you flush anything other than the three Ps, they can cause a blockage within your internal plumbing or our sewer mains out in the street, resulting in everything that’s gone down the drain coming back up, and this isn’t a nice experience for anyone.”
SA Water’s education team will be presenting A Story Well Told at the Sturt Reserve on Thursdays and Fridays until 22 January 2021. Bookings are essential and can be made online at murraybridge.sa.gov.au.
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