GROSS: An example of the blockages the council has to clean out from Toowoomba's sewer system, this example measuring 177cm in length and made from non-flushable wipes and other items.
GROSS: An example of the blockages the council has to clean out from Toowoomba's sewer system, this example measuring 177cm in length and made from non-flushable wipes and other items. Toowoomba Regional Council

GROSS: Here are the wet wipes you flush

SEWER blockages from non-flushable wipes are costing ratepayers serious money, the Toowoomba Regional Council has warned.

TRC water and waste general manager Damian Platts showed graphic evidence of the issue during the ordinary meeting yesterday, displaying a photo of a 1.7m-long collection of unflushable material, which had to be pulled from a pump on the Oakey-Toowoomba sewer line.

Mr Platts said there were 128 blockages that needed to be cleared last year, and 43 since September at a cost of $28,000 to ratepayers.

"It starts to knot and bind as the pump tries to pump it around, and you get this big mass," he said.

Mr Platts said the blockages resulted in a slew of extra costs that the ratepayer had to foot.

"There was a man working on that all day, then there's the decommissioning and re-commissioning of the pump," he said.

"Because it's a pump, we need to ensure there's enough effluent storage, so we get these things called Godwin pumps to bypass the sewage pump station.

"We also can get sucker trucks to suck it up, dump it at the plant and return for more."

Water and waste chair Cr Nancy Sommerfield urged residents to not flush anything other than toilet paper down into the sewers.

"Even if it says disposable wipes, don't flush it down."



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