Caring for your drains

Everything you pour down the drain or flush down the toilet goes through the sewerage system. It is really important to remember that some things should not enter the sewer system.

Some of the worst culprits are fats, oils and grease. After they are washed down the sink, they quickly cool and solidify, sticking to the walls of the pipes causing blockages. If they mix with other items, such as wet wipes, sanitary products, barbeque napkins, facial tissues and kitchen towels then blockages can become more serious.

Wet wipes include baby wipes, toilet wipes, body wipes, personal hygiene wipes and cleaning wipes. They are often marketed as “flushable” or biodegradable”, but instead of disintegrating after flushing, like toilet paper, the synthetic wet wipes do not break down, contributing to major blockages in our sewerage network.

The pipes that run from your home to the main sewer are only a few inches wide. They can become blocked easily and if blocked, sewage can quickly back up into your street, garden or even your home, causing a dirty and costly mess—which is completely avoidable.

Having to unclog the mess that these products are causing poses a significant cost to the Canberra community—one that is preventable if we all do the right thing.

Avoid washing down grease, fats and oils and only flush the three p’s—that’s pee, poo and paper.

Download our Draincare Poster for your home or office

For tips on preventing blockages and what to do if you experience one, see our Sewerage services and blockages brochure. For information on when your internal plumbing ends and our sewerage network begins, see our Sewerage network boundaries and responsibilities.




Only Icon Water is permitted to work on and access the Icon Water Sewerage network. Whilst we pay for reasonable costs associated with identifying a fault on the Utility network (in accordance with our reimbursement rates), Icon Water will not reimburse for circumstances where a blockage has been removed from our network by a private plumber or other non authorised person.

Domestic sewage is derived from the use of water, of acceptable quality, for purposes carried out in the typical home, but which may also occur in other places for example, in the workplace, schools or restaurants. If domestic sewage is stored or pumped it will not be regarded as domestic sewage due to the possible negative impacts from these processes. All non-domestic sewage (also known as "Trade waste") must, by law, be approved by Icon Water before discharge.