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Prevent sewer blockages

Prevent sewer blockages

Learn about what shouldn't go down the drain or toilet.

Flushing the wrong things down the toilet, or putting strange substances down the drain, affects our ability to treat sewage. Not only can certain items damage household plumbing, they can block sewer pipes resulting in overflows at customer properties or even lead to environmental issues in streams and rivers. They can also cause major problems at our wastewater treatment plants and be a safety risk to our staff.

Never ever put the following in the sewerage system:

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

We suggest you follow these handy hints:

  • use a sink strainer to prevent food scraps and other household waste, from going down the drain
  • pour kitchen fats and oils into a container; seal it and throw it in the bin
  • wipe greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before washing
  • dispose of items such as cotton buds, nappies, condoms, sanitary products and their wrappers in the household rubbish
  • use less detergent – the average household uses three times more detergent than manufacturers recommend
  • choose a washing detergent with a low salt content – concentrated detergents often contain much less salt than conventional varieties
  • ask your local pharmacy or council for advice on how to dispose of medicines and hazardous chemicals.

Never ever flush wet wipes

Wet wipes are a major problem for North East Water and cause major damage to our infrastructure. They wipes don’t disintegrate like toilet paper and get stuck in places where they shouldn’t.

Never ever flush:

  • wet wipes
  • baby wipes
  • disposable wipes
  • moist wipes
  • antibacterial wipes
  • cleaning wipes
  • flushable wipes

Never ever flush wet wipes – even if the packaging says they're flushable – always dispose of them in the rubbish!

Where do I dispose of liquid waste?

Use Sustainability Victoria’s 'Detox Your Home' program or 'Paint Drop-off' program. Click here for details.

Where do I dispose of motor oil?

Used motor oil should be stored in an appropriate container and taken to your local oil collection facility so it can be cleaned and re-used. Contact your local council for details.

Have you noticed suspicious disposal activities?

If you notice any suspicious activities, such as the discharge of illegal substances, please contact us immediately on 1300 361 644 so that we may prevent damage to the sewer system and manage any risks to public and environmental health.