Toilet paper shortage causing sewer blockage spike
THE toilet roll shortage across the country is starting to affect the Toowoomba Regional Council, who said sewer blockages were rising as residents start using unsuitable alternatives.
TRC strategic planning and capital delivery manager Ray Stephenson said the council had noticed a sharp increase in the number of reported blockages in its system between February and March and corresponding period last year.
There were more than 70 blockages reported last month, a huge jump from the March 2019 when there were just 21.
Mr Stephenson said the possible cause was due to people using "flushable" wipes and tissues instead of toilet paper.
"The sewerage systems are still operating so it seems people still have enough toilet paper, but if this situation continues and people cannot get to toilet paper they will resort to other things," he said.
"What we expect to go down the toilet is normal paper and human waste.
"Flushable wipes bind together in the sewerage system - we've seen a 25 per cent increase in sewer blockages this year, so the numbers are rising."
Water and waste general manager Damian Platts urged residents to put use wet wipes in the bin instead of the toilet.
"Since December last year to February this year, there have been 168 sewer pipe blockages costing ratepayers just under $158,000," he said.
"The solution is to avoid placing these items down the toilet.