News, Culture & Society

Sydney Water reveals bizarre items flushed down toilets in bids to prevent damage to environment

Kids’ toys, jewellery and a BRICK: The bizarre things Sydneysiders tried to flush down their toilet – with flushed wet wipes costing $8MILLLION a year

  • Sydney Water released campaign about what not to flush down toilets and sinks
  • Tissues, wipes, hair and sanitary items can clog toilets and damage pipes
  • Residents have also been warned not to tip certain liquids down kitchen sinks 
  • Campaign comes after 7,000 reports of blockages in Sydney wastewater system


Children’s toys, jewellery, and even a brick are just some of the bizarre items found clogged in wastewater systems in Sydney this year – with most having been flushed down the toilet.

Sydney Water has released a new campaign warning residents about the ‘dos and don’ts’ of flushing things down toilets or tipping certain liquids down kitchen sinks.

The ‘It’s Best to Bin It’ motto will be shown on digital advertisements around the city after it was revealed one in every two people are flushing away items that should instead be chucked into the rubbish.

The effects can lead to damages to the environment once these items make their way into wastewater plants as well as a hefty plumbing bill. 

Household products like tissues, wipes, sanitary items and hair are all commonly found in sewage without residents realising the damage just one flush can have.

Children’s toys, jewellery, and even a brick are just some of the bizarre items found clogged in wastewater systems in Sydney this year – with most having been flushed down the toilet

BIZARRE ITEMS FOUND IN SYDNEY WASTEWATER 

A brick

Watches 

Jewellery

Lighters

Children’s toys

Money – notes and coins

Earphones 

In just the past three months Sydney Water crews have been called to 7,000 faults and blockages in water systems with teams finding money, watches, earphones and lighters among other wacky items.

‘The reality is wet wipes, fats, oils and grease and other items like cotton buds, tissues and sanitary products are a major threat to our wastewater network,’ Sydney Water’s Head of Customer, Strategy and Engagement, Maryanne Graham said. 

She said 75 per cent of blockages found in water systems were due to people flushing wet wipes down the toilets. 

‘The cost to Sydney Water of removing the 500 tonnes of flushed wet wipes from the wastewater system is upwards of $8million every year,’ Ms Graham said. 

‘It’s all about highlighting the simple things our customers can do to save on their own clean-up bills and protect the environment, by remembering ‘it’s best to bin it.’

From a survey on residents in Greater Sydney, 56 per cent said they thought it was fine to flush tissues down the toilet.

Sydney Water has released a new campaign warning residents of the 'dos and don'ts' of flushing various things down toilets or tipping certain liquids down kitchen sinks

Sydney Water has released a new campaign warning residents of the ‘dos and don’ts’ of flushing various things down toilets or tipping certain liquids down kitchen sinks

For tipping various items down the sink, 63 per cent would happily throw away milk and 14 per cent would pour down coffee grounds and tea leaves.

However it’s items like these that can have detrimental impacts on the environment as milk is highly pollutive.

Meanwhile, foods like coffee and tea leaves will soon enough lead to a large clog in the kitchen sink pipes. 

The Sydney Water team are hoping that by showing families the ‘unflushable’ and ‘unsinkable’ items, that the environment will be a lot better off.

WHAT SYDNEYSIDERS THINK IS OK TO PUT DOWN THE TOILET 

Tissues – 56 per cent

Wet wipes (if labelled flushable) – 39 per cent 

Hair – 19 per cent

Dental floss – 7 per cent

Unwanted medication – 5 per cent

Cigarette butts – 4 per cent

Baby wipes – 4 per cent

Cotton buds – 4 per cent

Nappies – 2 per cent

Source: Sydney Water 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk