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Loos Clog Up As Aussies Flush Toilet Paper Alternatives

Water authorities are experiencing a spike in blockages in the country's sewer systems, as supermarket shelves remain bare of toilet paper. Warning: the pictures aren't pretty.

SA Water has urged people to use common sense and not to flush away objects loos aren’t designed to for, such as paper towel and baby wipes.

South Australia's water authority has shared stomach-turning images from a water treatment plant that show the extent of the damage to its pipes and infrastructure from foreign objects.

A broken pipe at an SA Water treatment plant following the toilet paper shortage. Image: supplied.

“The three Ps -- the paper, the poo and the pee can all go in the toilet. anything else, please put it in the bin,” Anna Jackson from SA Water told 10 News First.

“Whether its wet wipes, paper towels or baby wipes, they will block up the sewer network.”

If you are really stuck and don't have toilet paper to use -- any alternatives should be placed a bin, and then taken outside to your main household waste bin, Jackson said.

Andrew Farron, a plumber of 43 years, said he’s experiencing unprecedented demand to clear pipes in people’s homes.

“Every day I get another blocked drain purely from hand towel and wet wipes,” Farron told 10 News First.

“This is the first time I've seen it at this particular increase in my life.”

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Most of his clients are vulnerable people who are missing out on daily essentials, with shop shelves wiped clear of stock.

“They're normally old or working all the time and can't get to the shops at normal times ... so we just have to get on and do the job really.”

The result of a clogged system. Image: 10 News First

SA water spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every year removing not flushable objects from the sewer system and its water treatment plants. It's feared that figure could rise if panic-buying doesn't subside.

On Wednesday, Scott Morrison pleaded with Australians to stop hoarding household essentials -- slamming the behaviour as “ridiculous.”

It's unclear if the PM's warning will have a flow-on effect to the bathroom.

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Featured image: Getty.

Contact the author: tryan@networkten.com.au