Blocked toilets increase risk of COVID -19 and other diseases

Tue, 31 Mar 2020

THE Australasian Drain Cleaning and Vacuum Association (ADCVA) are asking the Australian public to not dispose of anything else other than toilet paper in their toilets.

ADCVA Chairman Peter Jones said he believes it’s important to follow the advice of water authorities around protecting sewer infrastructure as flushing anything other than toilet paper can cause blockages in sewerage systems.

“As the peak industry body for drain cleaning in Australasia, ADCVA endorses the advice of the water authorities and the safety of our frontline operators is at forefront of our thinking,” Mr Jones said.

“Increased blockages can increase the risk of not only COVID-19 but other bacterial and viral diseases to workers having to react to these blockages and we need workers who provided these essential services maintaining our critical infrastructure through this period.”

Mr Jones said panic buying of toilet paper due to fears of limited stock during the COVID-19 crisis has prompted supermarkets to enforce limits on how much toilet paper a person can purchase with many people now using alterative products like wipes and hand towels.

“Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down quickly in the sewer system. Flushing wipes down the toilet, whether labelled flushable or not, can cause problems with plumbing and can contribute to blocked sewers,” Mr Jones said.

“ADCVA represents the drain cleaning industry in Australasia and our members have been actively adopting measures to protect their staff and maintain services to local councils and water authorities and the higher than normal instances of blockages is now putting front line staff at risk of being infected with COVID-19.

“We need these workers who provide essential services maintaining our critical infrastructure to keep working and through this period, as a community, I encourage everyone to help by only flushing toilet paper. If you don’t have access to toilet paper use a bin to dispose of other items such as nappy wipes or hand towels.”

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