South East Water is pleased to support a new Australian Standard which provides clear guidance to manufacturers and consumers on which products can be flushed down the toilet.

In 2021-22, South East Water teams have already worked to clear approximately 4,700 blockages across its sewer network – at a cost of more than $1.4 million. 

The standard known as AS/NZS 5328, Flushable Products, will help to protect the sewer system from blockages caused by products that can’t break down properly.

While the Standard is voluntary, it provides manufacturers with a clear set of criteria including ‘flushability’ tests to carry out on products to make sure they’re safe for the sewer system. 

Importantly for consumers, products that meet the criteria as set out in the Standard will be able to display the approved flushable symbol, helping to identify suitable products from the packaging.

South East Water’s Acting Managing Director, Charlie Littlefair welcomed the guidance the standard brings to consumers and manufacturers, and the benefits to the environment and the sewer network.

“Flushing the wrong things down your toilet can wreak havoc with our pipes and pumps, increasing the risk of sewer spills into the environment"

"The new flushable standard provides clear guidance to manufacturers and consumers to help keep our sewer network flowing. ” 
Acting Managing Director South East Water, Charlie Littlefair

Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia, said the message from the water industry has always been - only flush the 3P’s: Pee, Poo and (toilet) Paper.

“The 3P's message doesn't change, but now we can add: check for the flushable symbol. If there is no flushable symbol on the packet then don't flush it, put it in the bin."
Water Services Association of Australia, Executive Director - Adam Lovell

Find out more: DR AS/NZS 5328:2022 Flushable Products, by Standards Australia.

Top picture: a pump blockage caused by non-flushable items in South East Water’s sewer network. 

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