July 22, 2024 7:08 AM

No wipes down the pipes


Fatberg and clogged pump at Waste Water Plant in Muswellbrook

Flushable wipes are not flushable regardless of what the label on the package says and Muswellbrook’s waste water system is being choked with great mounds of “flushable wet wipes” in the wake of the great tissue issue.

Muswellbrook Council’s Director Community Infrastructure Derek Finnigan said flushable wipes do not degrade after flushing but remain intact long enough to pass through wastewater pipes into the main sewer system causing blockages and damage to wastewater plants that costs thousands of dollars to fix.

‘’Wet wipes will disappear around the u-bend of the toilet but most go on to join up with “fatbergs” that have to be broken down and removed manually or clog pumps at the wastewater treatment plant,” Mr Finnigan said.

“This entirely preventable problem is becoming more prevalent and creating a major headache for staff.”

Fatbergs and blockages form over items such as wet wipes, nappies, greases and oils when they are washed down drains instead of being disposed of correctly.

Instead of disintegrating after flushing the wipes, which are made from synthetic materials, can take years to break down.

“Wet wipes are as tough as Superman’s cape, please reconsider what you flush and you will help the environment and save yourself and others big plumbing bills and increased sewage waste management costs,” Mr Finnegan added.

Council urges residents to stop flushing nuisance wipes or any other matter that is not meant to be flushed down the toilet and follow the Three P’s rule – “pee, poo and (toilet) paper only.”

*This story was published on Friday, June 19 2020.