Keeping our sewers healthy

Keeping our sewers healthy

South Australians, we know what you’re flushing. We see your pipes, and they’re full of wet wipes!

That’s not all you’re flushing. Condoms, tampons, tissues… The list goes on! All of these items don’t belong in our sewer network, so we need your help to keep our sewers healthy and limit the number of blockages and overflows. The solution is simple. Put it in the bin, South Australia!

Over the past 12 months, wet wipes alone were directly responsible for more than 2,500 blockages across our statewide network.

If it’s not paper, pee or poo, do not flush it down the loo. 

When items other than the three Ps – paper (toilet), pee and poo – are flushed down the loo, they can easily become trapped in our sewer pipes. This causes a blockage, which can lead to overflows inside your home, yard or in your street, which can also impact on the local environment.

In the toilet

What you can flush

The three Ps:

  • pee
  • poo
  • (toilet) paper.
What you can't flushWhere you can put it
Wet wipesGeneral waste bin
Baby wipesGeneral waste bin
TissuesGreen/compost bin
CondomsGeneral waste bin
Tampons and padsGeneral waste bin
HairGreen/compost bin
Nail clippingsGreen/compost bin
Pet pooGreen/compost bin

These ‘unflushable’ items are not designed to easily break down in water – they get stuck in our pipes, tangled within tree roots in search of water, or collected at wastewater treatment plants and then taken to landfill. Wet wipes and feminine hygiene products account for around 90 per cent of materials removed from blocked sewers.

Learn more about which bin to put things in.

At the sink

Your flushing habits aren’t the only cause of blockages and overflows – what you’re rinsing has also got us wincing!

What you can rinse/drain:

  • washing up water
  • plates and dishes with large scraps scraped off
  • use a sink strainer basket to catch the large scraps and put these in the compost or general waste bin.
What you can't rinseWhere you should put it
Cooking oilSmall quantities – soak with a paper towel and put in the green/compost bin
Large quantities – put in a plastic container or jar with a lid and then in the general waste bin
Coffee groundsGreen/compost bin
Tea leaves/tea bagsGreen/compost bin
Egg whitesGreen/compost bin (can be frozen and then added to the bin
Cereal scrapsGreen/compost bin
PastaGreen/compost bin
FatsLet them solidify and then scrape into the green/compost bin

It’s important not to treat your kitchen sink, and other drains such as in your shower, like a bin. Cooking fats, greases and oils must not be put down the drain, as they build up and congeal in your internal pipework and our sewer pipes. They also stick like glue to bind other types of ‘unflushables’ like wet wipes, eventually causing a blockage that will send everything in the pipes back up. Instead, you should let them cool and then put them in your bin.

As well as creating foul-smelling odours in the pipes, fats and oils discourage the growth of the naturally-occurring good bacteria needed in the treatment process at our wastewater treatment plants.

Learn more about which bin to put things in.

Outdoor drains

Some outdoor drains in your garden go into the sewer, just like your kitchen sink, shower and bath, or your local council's storm water network. The list above also applies to outdoor drains.

Learn more about which bin to put things in.

Smart technology and our sewer cleaning program

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

We are trialling smart wastewater technology in several targeted Adelaide suburbs, with smart sensors providing us with data to monitor sewage levels and proactively maintain the network to prevent a pipe blockage.

  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Polkinghorns Rd
  • Arthurton
  • 18/06/2020
  • Water Supply On
  • 18/06/2020 03:05 PM - We are attending to an incident in Arthurton with no interruption to the water supply. The safety of our crews and customers comes first, and we always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as quickly as we can. Reference Number WO: 07505663.
  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Spruance Rd
  • Elizabeth East
  • 11/06/2021
  • Temporary Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time and water supply off: 15/06/2021 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time and water supply back on: 15/06/2021 04:00 PM

    We’re improving your services and undertaking maintenance work in Elizabeth East. Sometimes our crews need to temporarily interrupt the water supply to our customers and/or manage traffic while they are working. Temporary traffic management may remain in place until reinstatement of the impacted road is complete. We always aim to minimise inconvenience by restoring services as safely and quickly as we can.


  • See all scheduled works