Sewer blockages

Plunger unclogging a toilet

What not to put down your sanitary drain

Some things do not belong in your sewer pipes.

Every time someone flushes a toilet, rinses a plate, takes a shower or washes their clothes, the wastewater goes through the private sanitary pipes to the Council sewer mains. This connection between your sanitary drainage pipes and Council main could be either within the property or on land outside the property boundary.

All waste flows from your home to Bundaberg Regional Council Treatment Plants where it is treated. The purpose of sewage treatment is to remove suspended solids, organic matter, nutrients and disease-causing organisms, leaving effluent that is suitable for discharge back into the environment. The sorts of things you put down your sinks or flush down your toilet can have a major effect on the costs of treating the sewage and consequently, can make it far more expensive for your local Council. You can help to reduce this cost and protect the environment by keeping many of your household waste items that do not break down, out of the sewerage systems.

What not to put down your sanitary drainage pipes

  • Never flush nappies, flushable wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons, incontinence pads, bandages, cotton buds or condoms down the toilet. Such items commonly cause sewer blockages in your drainage line and can clog up the system at the treatment plants. All these items should be disposed of in the garbage.
  • Avoid putting cooking oil, fats or food scraps down the kitchen sink. Fats tend to solidify on cooling, which can lead to fat build-up in the pipes under your home and ultimately cause blockages that are costly to fix. Instead of pouring fats and oils down the sink, wipe your pots and pans with a paper towel and put the paper in the bin.
  • Pouring chemicals used for home and garden maintenance, such as paints and pesticides, down the sink or ORG (overflow relief gully) can corrode your pipes, damage the environment and poses a health threat to yourself and others. Bundaberg Regional Council Waste Management Facility provides the appropriate location for disposal of paints and other chemicals from your home.

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