Despite the persistent marketing claims of certain companies, the truth remains clear: ‘flushable’ wipes wreak havoc on sewage systems, causing blockages, environmental pollution, and unnecessary damage. As a plumbing company that deals with sewage pipes on a daily basis, we want to emphasise that wet wipes are not flushable, contrary to what is often advertised. The term “flushable” was coined in the 80s to describe a product small enough to be flushed, not one that mimics the composition of toilet paper. This article aims to shed light on the dangers of flushing wet wipes and highlight the importance of protecting your sewage system.

The Consequences of Flushing Non-Flushables

Toilet paper is intentionally designed to break down rapidly in water, allowing for smooth passage through the sewage system. In contrast, wet wipes and other debris do not disintegrate as quickly, leading to a range of problems. Sydney Water alone spent over 8 million dollars in 2020 to clear non-flushables from sewage systems. Shockingly, more than 1 million people flushed wet wipes down the toilet last year, contributing to these staggering figures.

The Damage Caused to Sewer Lines by Non-Flushables

Flushing non-flushables can result in several detrimental consequences. Firstly, it can lead to the backflow of wastewater, causing hygienic issues. Additionally, it may cause burst or broken pipes, resulting in sewer water damage to properties. Foreign objects can worsen existing plumbing problems, such as tree root intrusion, or become the primary cause of blockages. Prompt action is crucial to prevent sustained pressure on sewer lines, which can lead to major repairs.

The ‘Do Not Flush’ List

To avoid sewer line issues, it is essential to adhere to a simple rule: only flush toilet paper and human waste. Omega Services recommends refraining from flushing wet wipes, facial wipes, nappies, tissues, paper towels, floss, cotton buds, sanitary items, and any foreign objects. Having a waste bin in your bathroom is a small investment that can save you from potential plumbing headaches.

What Can I Flush Into My Sewer Pipes?

The answer is straightforward: only toilet paper and human waste. By protecting your sewer line from unnecessary items, you reduce the risk of emergency plumbing call-outs, repairs, and damage. Moreover, you play a crucial role in minimising waste entering the main sewer line, benefiting the entire community.

Taking Care of Blockages in Your Sewer System

In the unfortunate event of a blockage in your sewer system, it’s essential to take appropriate steps. First, locate your water supply and turn it off to prevent accidental flushes or further use of the sewer line. Over-the-counter drain-clearing chemicals may have limited effectiveness against stubborn non-flushables, which often require professional intervention. At Omega Services, we utilise a powerful drain clearing tool known as a high-pressure water jetter. This environmentally friendly and efficient device can quickly tackle blockages caused by non-flushables. Taking prompt action can prevent the problem from escalating and save you from unnecessary costs.

The myth of flushable wipes persists, leading to blockages, environmental damage, and expensive repairs. By raising awareness and following proper disposal practices, we can collectively reduce the strain on our sewer lines and protect our environment. Remember, when it comes to flushing, stick to the essentials – toilet paper and human waste.