What can go down the drain?

Only the three Ps please!

Whatever your put down the kitchen, laundry and bathroom sink or flush down your toilet will end up in the sewerage system.

To avoid sewer blockages, it’s important to only flush the three Ps down your toilet.

What to flush

What are the three Ps? Pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

Our sewerage network is only designed to handle the three Ps. Other items including tissues, wet wipes (even ‘flushable’ wipes), sanitary products, nappies, newspaper and paper towel don’t break down inside the sewer and can cause blockages in the pipe.

Blockages have the potential to cause sewer spills, which are costly, require extensive clean up and can impact our environment.

Since July 2019, City West Water has dealt with more than 1,800 blockages in our sewer system – the cause of these blockages varies and can range from tree roots and rubble to a build-up of non-biodegradable materials including wet wipes.

What not to flush

The following items should not be flushed into the sewerage system:

  • wet wipes
  • facial tissues
  • cotton buds
  • fats, oils or food scraps
  • condoms
  • motor oils
  • nappies
  • non-biodegradable products
  • paints
  • pesticides
  • plastics
  • sanitary products and wrappers
  • solvents, aerosols or disinfectants.

Can I flush ‘flushable’ wipes?

It is common for wipes to be advertised as ‘flushable’ however every wipe can still cause large blockages that are expensive to clear. Dispose of wet wipes in your rubbish bin.

Household hints to protect our waterways and sewerage system

Practise these simple hints at home:

  • use a sink strainer to stop food scraps and other household waste from going down the drain
  • use a compost bin to dispose of food scraps
  • pour kitchen fats and oils into a container, seal it and throw it in the bin
    • don’t use hot water or an insinkerator to wash fats and oils down the drain as when the water cools in the pipes fats and oils harden and can get stuck in the sewer system
  • wipe greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before washing
  • throw cotton buds, nappies, condoms, sanitary products and their wrappers in the rubbish
  • use less detergent and choose one that has a low salt content – concentrated detergents often contain much less salt than conventional varieties.

Home hazardous and toxic waste

Your local council has different days and locations for waste collection and drop off. Your local council information can be found here:

Solvents, aerosols or disinfectants

Sustainability Victoria’s Detox Your Home is a safe, free service that disposes of toxic, unwanted household chemicals. Their website includes useful information on locations and registrations:

  • for Detox your home events
  • permanent drop off sites
  • information on what items are accepted
  • safety and handling
  • simple steps to free your home of harmful chemicals, safely and responsibly.

Medicines

Your local pharmacy or council can advise on how to dispose of medicines.

Trade hazardous and toxic waste

If you are a business that has hazardous or toxic waste you can call us for advice on 9313 8366 or email us at tradewaste@citywestwater.com.au

Paint

Paintback provides information on how to dispose of paint and information on your nearest drop off outlet. Unwanted architectural and decorative paint and left-over packaging is high-volume waste that needs specialist management to minimise health and environment risks to the community. Along with disposing of waste paint responsibly, Paintback is committed to researching new ways to repurpose unwanted paint materials.

Motor oil and other materials

PLANET ARK’s Recycling Near You website includes a useful directory on where and how to dispose of motor oil.

After changing the oil in your car or other motors such as lawnmowers, boats or chainsaws, be sure to dispose of the used oil correctly. Used motor oil, or 'sump oil' should not be flushed down a household drain as it will pollute waterways and soil. Although it gets dirty, used oil can still be cleaned and re-used. Many council facilities such as transfer stations, waste management centres or landfill sites accept used oil.

Noticed something suspicious?

If you notice any suspicious activities re: disposing of materials give our team a call on 131 691.

We can investigate and potentially prevent damage to pipes, waterways and our sewerage system. It will also help us to manage any risks to public and environmental health.

Thanks for finding out about the three Ps.

Together we can look after our waterways and our sewer network.

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