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All sorts block the system

Superhero costumes, nappies, and cooking oil.

These are just some of the items recently identified as clogging up Carterton’s wastewater system, prompting the council to put the hard word on residents.

The costume – which the council identified as a “child’s Batman getup” – and nappies are items that can jam pump stations in the wastewater network, the aerators at the wastewater treatment plant, and other machines.

In recent weeks, pump stations have been getting blocked up by wet wipes and similar items, a Carterton District Council [CDC] spokesperson said.

CDC consents, compliance, and operations manager Rachel Round said even “flushable” wipes were not really flushable.

“It is important to be mindful of the damage to our infrastructure that can be caused by flushing non-bio-degradable items away.

“Please remember the three Ps. If it’s not pee, paper or poo, do not flush it down the loo,” Round said.

“Anything else blocks our systems and takes away key staff from essential work. No wipes down the pipes, please.”

She asked that residents “refrain from disposing of these items down the sink or toilet”.

“Instead, nappies and wet wipes should be disposed of in the garbage, and clothing and other non-flushable items should be recycled or disposed of in designated bins.”

Round said it isn’t just bathroom waste that’s causing problems.

Grease and oils poured down the kitchen sink slide through pipes and meet up with other greasy conglomerates, fabrics, and single-use plastic items that have been flushed down the toilet.

These items build up, creating a “fatberg” that jams the pipes.

“We ask that you avoid draining oils and fats into the wastewater system,” Round said.

“You help the network and the environment by cooling and collecting your cooking fats, oil, and grease in a covered container and putting them in a rubbish bin. You can dispose of cooking oils at our transfer station.

“Scrape pots and pans into your rubbish bin before rinsing and washing. Add a strainer to your sink to catch food scraps and other solids that can collect with fats and create a blockage.” – NZLDR

    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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