The Costly Expense of Flushable Wipes

Sydney, Australia – A survey of consumers in the Illawarra region reports that there are at least one in four residents who flush wet wipes down the toilet, and the cost, is adding up.

As one D.C homeowner speculated, “the cost per sheet of flushable wipe is $1—meaning for every flushable wipe, $.10 is for the wipe, and $.90 goes to the plumber.” Sydney Water reports that frustrated residents are paying anywhere from from $300 to $16,000 for a clog or backup. The image below was sent to Sydney Water by a woman who spent $16,000 to fix her blocked pipe.

A blockage of wet wipes, also known as a fatberg, posted on Sydney Water's Facebook page by a woman who spent $16,000 ...

Each year, Sydney Water removes 500 tonnes of wipes from the wastewater network at a cost of $8 million. Clean-outs reportedly occur on a regular basis, and require specialized equipment and manual labor at a costly expense. The Water Services Association of Australia estimates wet wipes are costing water utilities $15 million per year.

Sydney Water workers at the Shellharbour sewage pumping station cleaning out a blockage of wet wipes. A spokesman said ...

Shellharbour sewage pumping station cleaning out a blockage of wet wipes. Photo: Illawarra Mercury

Part of the one-tonne wet wipes cluster removed from sewer pipes at the pumping station in Eleebana.

One-tonne of wet wipes being removed at Eleebana. Photo: Hunter Water

Sydney Water threatens legal action as wipes block drains
Fatbergs: One tonne balls of wet wipes and fat block sewers

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