Service Areas

0407 837 729 02 9191 7374 BOOK NOW

Service Areas

Call Now

Book Now
Pure Plumbing Professionals Logo
Local Business Awards
‘Flushable’ wipes are causing widespread blockages

‘Flushable’ wipes are causing widespread blockages

As a consumer in Australia, it’s probable that you’re aware of the emergence of wet wipes on supermarket shelves over the past few years. A multi-purpose product, their use as an alternative to toilet paper has become a regularity in Australian households.

You may need to second-guess what brands are telling you

With product labels from trusted brands indicating that these wipes are flushable, we can be forgiven for not believing otherwise.

As a matter of fact, however, these wipes are not only blocking our household plumbing systems, but are contributing to something far more problematic.

Consumers are contributing to a million-dollar problem

Despite the claims of these companies, the wipes are causing issues further down the piping network, with clearance of blockages costing authorities millions.

Around 3,500 blockages occur in the Sydney city system each year, with wet wipes being a main contributor; it’s estimated that they cause up to 75% of all sewer network blockages.

Clearing out system blockages is a physically demanding task, faced by workers on a daily basis.

Stories concerning the rise of ‘Fatbergs’ are common in the news nowadays, and are the scourge of sewer system workers in major cities worldwide. Fatbergs are a solid mass found in sewer systems, usually caused by a mixture of grease, fats, and other non-biodegradable matter, most commonly in the form of wet wipes.

Increased instances of these masses in sewer networks have correlated with the popularity of disposable cloths. In 2017, a fatberg as heavy as ‘11 double decker buses’ was removed from a London sewer tunnel. In Brisbane, a fatberg had to be removed from a sewer via a crane, it was so big.

via South West Water & AP

High Court decision on flushable wipes could confuse consumers

A recent High Court ruling regarding a case against the makers of Kleenex flushable wipes found no evidence to suggest the wipes were unsuitable for flushing. This decision, one of great controversy, goes completely against the views of consumer, water and environmental groups.

In the wake of the decision, a spokesperson for Sydney water said that what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet is easily remembered; the three P’s” poo, pee, and paper.

"From a wastewater management perspective, there are no wipes that are flushable”.

Since Sydney Water’s launch of the ‘Keep Wipes out of Pipes’ campaign, there have been decreases in the quantity of flushed wipes clogging up sewers.

Wet wipes subject of scientific testing

A 1.2km long replica sewer is being used in Brisbane to test the flushability of wipes. This testing, which began at the start of 2019, is aimed to figure out if any wipes on the market are suitable for flushing, with the creation of a national standard for these wipes on the agenda.

So far, the results aren’t promising. Wipes undergoing testing are varying in performance, though are generally too resilient, and unable to break down in the sewer.

If a wipe was manufactured to biodegrade properly, and in turn not causing sewer blockages, there’s every chance it’d receive a tick of approval.


If you have any questions about the content in this article, get in touch with a blocked drains expert on 02 9191 7374.


Resources used

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-04/flushable-wipes-trial-qld-urban-utilities-test-fatbergs/11362634

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/court-dismisses-case-against-kleenex-maker-over-flushable-wipes-advertising-20190627-p5220z.html

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-fatbergs-are-clogging-sydney-s-sewerage-system-20190808-p52f9p.html

  • Fixed Prices
  • Hot Water Trade in Deal
  • 10% Pensioner Discount
  • $50 Off for Mention
  • $0 Callout Fee
  • Same Day Service
  • 10% Off for Booking Online
  • $129 Drain Clean
  • All Work Guaranteed

Pure Plumbing Professionals Reviews

5.0

55 reviews

5 Stars 54
4 Stars 1
3 Stars 0
2 Stars 0
1 Stars 0

See what our clients are saying about our plumbers

  • Cassandra whitfield from
    Services: Blocked Drains
    11-03-2019

    Just a note to acknowledge the amazing service provided to us recently by Jeremy and his team. Following on from the unfortunate experience of a blocked sewerage pipe we were informed by another company that we required a boundary trap replacement and, accordingly, were provided with a quote of i...

  • Graeme jones from
    Services: Blocked Drains, Services: Emergency Plumber
    29-04-2019

    Was not having a Good Friday with a seriously blocked drain problem. Called Pure Plumbing and extremely pleased with the service provided. In the first instance the public holiday call out fee was much more reasonable than others we had called. The plumber arrived within an hour - and even called...

  • Greg hill from
    Services: Plumber, Services: Hot Water
    25-01-2019

    Thank you for your fast service fixing our leaking shower taps.

  • Gregg from
    Services: Plumber, Services: Hot Water
    25-01-2019

    Perfect. Thank you once again for all of your great work. The attention to details and quality of craftsmanship shows in your work. I’m truly grateful that you guys are my plumbing team.

  • Heather from
    Services: Plumber
    25-01-2019

    Hi Jerram A massive thank you for sending Michael to fix our toilet and main bathroom taps - it is a huge change to have working plumbing!!! Can’t thank you guys enough. Have a great day Heather 😊

View All Reviews

GOT AN EMERGENCY?

Do you need immediate help with serious plumbing & drainage problems in Sydney?

Our Plumbing Awards

Local Business Awards

Our Plumbing Clients

Have a plumbing emergency?
Click to call now

Job Booking Form

Important: If you need your job completed quickly or if it is an emergency please phone us on 0407 837 729. This number is will connect you directly to one of our plumbers 24 hours a day.

By filling in the form below we will assume that your enquiry is not an emergency.

Contact Information
Convert to Job Booking Request
Job Information
Blocked Drains
Gas Fitter
Hot Water
Plumber
Emergency Plumber
Submission

Your Local and Reliable Plumbers

With alot of us now working from home, now is the best time to ensure that your home is in tip top shape. All of our plumbers comply to the latest government mandates around safety and disinfection to avoid spreading of COVID-19 as well as the safety and wellbeing of our customers. Our services are still available 24 hours a day so you can be rest assured that if something happens we have you covered.

If you are experiencing a plumbing emergency then call your local 24 hour plumbers on 0407 837 729.

Book a Plumber

Customer Rating

5.0