Tweed Shire Council is urging residents not to flush wet wipes down the loo.
Tweed Shire Council is urging residents not to flush wet wipes down the loo.

Council pleads 'don’t flush wet wipes down Tweed's dunnies'

RESIDENTS are being urged not to flush wet wipes down the loo as the toilet paper shortage continues in the Tweed.

Tweed Shire Council says the wipes block the Tweed sewer system.

Supermarket shelves in the region are sparse with toilet tissue products as coronavirus panic-buyers emptied supplies.

Water and wastewater operations manager Brie Jowett warned the community to put the used wet wipes in a bin instead of the toilet as they do not break down in water and can block sewers.

 

Tweed Shire Council's customer service officer Karen Bertram finds the flushable wet wipe is only just beginning to break down after 31 months in water.
Tweed Shire Council's customer service officer Karen Bertram finds the flushable wet wipe is only just beginning to break down after 31 months in water.

 

The council has had three types of wet wipes in water at its front counters since August 2017.

Checking on Monday after 31 months, the flushable wipe has begun to break down (pictured) but the non-flushable wipe and the biodegradable wipe are still intact.

"It pays to see for yourself that these handy little items are a major hazard to your household sewerage pipes and the council's sewer network," Ms Jowlett said.

"While they may disappear down the bowl, they stay intact within the network for years and can cause blockages, sewage overflows and thousands of dollars of damage to pipes and pumps.

"If they block the pipes on private property, the householder could face a hefty bill. If they block council's sewer network, the ratepayer pays."

Every year, Australian water utilities estimate they spend more than $15 million removing wet wipes from Australian sewers.

"So please remember that wet wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. Only flush the four Ps - poo, pee, paper and puke. Put wet wipes in the bin," Ms Jowett said.



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