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Do you ever think of what happens after you flush?

“Out of sight, out of mind” is the attitude most of us have when it comes to flushing the toilet, running the dishwasher or popping the bath. But all that dirty water leaving your residence is called “wastewater” which has to end up somewhere. That “somewhere” is at the JW Wastewater Treatment Works. The JW wastewater process removes solids, dissolved solids and harmful bacteria. The treatment process last between 8 to 16 hours until water is clean enough to be used as a daily source of clean, fresh water.

Before the wastewater arrives at the treatment plant it first must travel through the pipes connected to your home, apartment, business, etc., via network, from there it enters pumping stations that “pump” the water to the next point along the way. If there are no blockages in the pipes this wastewater reaches the treatment plant.
Sewer backups can cause damage to homes, health hazards and threaten the environment. Sewer pipes blocked by grease are an increasing common cause of overflows.

What is the problem and how am I affected?

Sometimes there are blockages in the collection pipes or pump stations. These blockages may cause sewage overflows and back-ups in your home, your neighbour’s home, on public property and just about wherever water can find a way out.

Some of these sewer overflows and back-ups occur because of system failures. Sometime blockages can be attributed to improper disposal of personal items, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products, grease and fat from cooking, towels, rags, etc. into the sewer system. Everything you flush down your toilet, ends up at the treatment works (though, not in its original form).

For instance, suppose you accidentally flush a s down something in your toilet. If it doesn’t block your system and manages to move through your pipes it eventually ends up at the treatment works where it has joined hundreds of other items that block up the pumps and prevent them from working properly.

How much waste really ends up in the system?

JW’s sewer system is not designed to collect garbage. Human waste and toilet tissue are the only products the wastewater system was designed to handle. As our customers this affects you because continued use of our sewer system as a trash can contributes to system failures, added stress and wear, and increased operation and maintenance costs.

How can you help?

Customers are urged to all contribute by maintaining our infrastructure.

Please ensure that you do not flush the following items in your toilet:

    • Nappies
    • Food
    • Garbage
    • Hair
    • Personal hygiene products
    • Toys
    • Paper towels
    • Toothbrushes
    • Baby/Cleaning wipes

With everyone’s help JW can limit the number of sewer overflows due to blockages in the system thereby eliminating the need for costly clean-ups and possible contamination of our rivers/dams and endangerment of public health.
If you would like more information, a tour to JW Wastewater treatment works, please contact at (011) 688 1400

Remember, prevention is key. Keep your pipes and drains clean.