What the flush are you putting into your toilet?

Date published: 27 March 2020

Pee, poo and (toilet) paper. These are the only things that can be flushed down your toilet.

Townsville City Council is urging residents to think twice about what they’re flushing down the toilet to prevent pump blockages across the city.

Pump and pipe blockages in Council’s sewerage network cause overflows to the environment and blockages in house sewer lines.

Townsville City Council Water and Waste general manager Scott Moorhead said only the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper - should be sent into sewerage pipes.

“Toilet paper is a hot commodity at the moment, and for a good reason: toilet paper, pee and poo and are the only things that should be flushed down your toilet,” Mr Moorhead said.

“Even products that are labelled ‘flushable’ are causing blockages in our sewerage network and should not be flushed down your toilets.

“We want to reduce the high number of pump and pipe blockages because it is costing our community a lot of money to manage these problems. The average yearly spend to clear these blockages is $2 million.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part in managing household wastewater, and the easiest way to do this is to stick to the three Ps – pee, poo and paper. Nothing else should be flushed down your toilet.”

Mr Moorhead said it was important to remember that toilets and drains aren’t rubbish bins.

“If you have rubbish like sanitary items, nappies, napkins or wet wipes, it belongs with the rest of your rubbish in the bin. These items should never be flushed down the toilet or put into any stormwater drains,” he said.

“Sometimes the concern is that used wet wipes shouldn’t go straight into the household bin. In this case, you can always bag your wet wipes and either put them straight into your household bin or into your wheelie bin.

“If everyone remembers to only flush the three Ps we’ll have a much healthier sewerage system right across Townsville.”

Items that should NEVER be flushed

  • Wet wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls
  • Sanitary items
  • Band-aids
  • Dental floss
  • Nappies
  • Hair
  • Plant material
  • Oil