The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is pleased to see signs in Woolworths stores around Australia reminding customers to only flush toilet paper.

Image: A sign asking customers to only flush toilet paper in a Woolworths Supermarket in Sydney.

WSAA’s Executive Director Adam Lovell said, “We are excited to see this messaging in Woolworths stores. With toilet paper and other products in high demand during COVID-19 it is important to remember that only the 3P's should be flushed down the toilet - Pee, Poo and toilet Paper!”

The signs have been installed following a letter from WSAA to major supermarkets around Australia to help communicate to customers that only toilet paper can be flushed.

“We know that practicing good hygiene is extremely important at this time - however, wet wipes, paper towel and tissues can create 'fatbergs' which result in blockages in the wastewater system and extra costs for water utilities and customers.

We want our water utilities focused on providing the essential services we need right now – like high quality drinking water for handwashing”, said Mr Lovell. 

WSAA estimates that blockages caused by non-flushables like wet wipes are costing the urban water industry millions of dollars each year. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, WSAA members around Australia and New Zealand are reporting an increase in wastewater blockages caused by wipes, tissues and paper towel. In some places up to a 50 per cent increase.“We know these products are useful for personal hygiene and keeping households clean and safe, however they don’t break down like toilet paper so they need to go in the bin and not the toilet”, said Mr Lovell.

WSAA, along with its members, manufacturers and consumer advocates is leading the development of a national standard that will include pass/fail criteria along with appropriate labeling requirements.

“An Australian Standard will provide manufacturers with clear specifications to design products that are compatible with wastewater networks”, said Mr Lovell.

The draft Standard should be available for public comment in the coming months. 

About WSAA

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is the peak industry body representing the urban water industry. Our members provide water and sewerage services to over 22 million customers in Australia and New Zealand and many of Australia's largest industrial and commercial enterprises.

Media inquiries
Sandi Kolbe, Communications Manager
Water Services Association of Australia
Phone: 0427 224 694

22 Apr 2020

Sandi Kolbe

Sandi Kolbe

Communications Manager