Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council water and sewer operators are reporting an increase in sewer line blockages due to the increase of wipes, paper towels and tissues being flushed down the region's sewer lines.
"Don't flush it if it's not toilet paper," is the message CGRC Mayor Cr Abb McAlister has for the community.
"Shortages of various items have been reported amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has seemingly sparked panic-buying in many areas," Cr McAlister said.
"With toilet paper being one of the hardest-hit items, it seems that people are using other materials instead."
CGRC sewer technicians, Daryl Kelly in Cootamundra and Geoff Phillips in Gundagai have said they are both seeing a marked increase in paper products coming through the system.
CGRC Water Foreman, Daryl Kelly has reported the team in Cootamundra have been attending to at least one major sewer blockage per week over the last six weeks.
"A major sewer blockage necessitates the need to dig up the line, block traffic access and replace a large sections of pipe. The amount of sewer chokes has risen markedly also," Mr Kelly said.
Septic systems are also at risk of serious blockages and will need more frequent pumping out.
Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down quickly in the sewer system.
Flushing wipes down the toilet, whether labelled 'flushable' or not, can cause problems with household plumbing and is contributing to blocked sewers.
"It's expensive for Council and it's disgusting work for our teams, please don't flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet," Cr McAlister said.