Healthy Sewers

Healthy Sewers

Healthy Sewers explained

While we all go about our daily life, our underground sewers deal with the flushed and the drained.

When items other than the three Ps – paper, pee and poo – are flushed down the loo, or incorrect items are put down the drain, they make their way into sewer pipes and can easily become trapped. This causes a blockage, also known as a choke, which leads to internal and external overflows. These items can also cause issues at our wastewater treatment plants as they build up and need to be physically removed.

It’s time to make a change. To maintain dependable sewerage services for our customers, we ask you to help us keep our sewers healthy, minimising the number of sewer blockages and overflows.

Spread the word and keep our sewers healthy by only flushing paper, pee or poo!

Share our social media posts, using hashtag #healthysewers

What not to flush

It’s simple. If it’s not paper, pee or poo, do not flush it down the loo. Fats, greases and oils must not be put down the drain, rather let them cool and then put them in your bin.

The most damaging items are:

  • sanitary pads
  • tampons
  • wet wipes, and
  • condoms.

These items do not break down, rather they get stuck in our pipes, tangled within tree roots in search of water, or collected at our treatment plants and then dumped. Wet wipes and feminine hygiene products account for 90 per cent of materials removed from blocked sewers.

Here’s what that looks like when it’s removed from our sewers or wastewater treatment plants.

sewer rags

Impacts of putting the wrong items down the toilet or drain

External and internal overflows are the key impact from putting the wrong items down the toilet or drain and can cause damage to your property pipes, the wider network and the environment. They are disgusting and best avoided.

Internal overflows inside homes and businesses as a result of chokes within the property’s internal plumbing. This can cause significant damage and is the owner’s responsibility to fix.

External overflows occur within our streets as a result of chokes within our network and often impact surrounding properties. These overflows are our responsibility to clean up.

Smart technology and our sewer cleaning program

We are trialling wastewater technology in Stonyfell, having installed smart sensors to provide us with data to monitor levels and proactively maintain the network and prevent a choke.

Our targeted sewer program sees us travel around South Australia to clean the 9,000km of sewer network.

In the last year, we cleaned around 250km of mains – that’s equivalent distance from Adelaide’s CBD to the Victorian border!