20 Feb 2019

Fatbergs message: Don't put fat and wipes into the sewer

11:51 am on 20 February 2019

Plunket is teaming up with Auckland and Wellington water providers to try and educate people to not put wipes and fat into the sewerage system.

No caption

Photo: 123rf

Auckland Watercare said dealing with the problems caused by wet wipes cost about $1 million each year.

It, along with Wellington Water, is teaming up with Plunket to issue advice to families about what they're putting down the drain.

Auckland Watercare head of production, Peter Rogers, told Morning Report putting things like fat or wipes down the toilet or sink can cause fatbergs that block the sewerage pipes.

"We are getting a lot of fats and grease from the kitchen, we get clothing, rags, we get wipes, we get things like dental floss, tissues, personal hygiene products.

"Any thing such as that should go into the rubbish bin."

Small amounts of leftover fat and grease should be scrapped into newspaper, folded up, and put out with solid rubbish on the footpath, Mr Rodgers.

"If it's liquid ... let it cool down first, pour it into a container, and dispose of it in the solid waste."

He said even flushable wipes should not go into the drain as it could build up in layers, mixing with fat causing fatbergs.

The fatbergs can become as hard as concrete and be very difficult to remove.

"It's not a very nice job at all, and we do have staff that actually have to go down into some sewers ... and physically clean out blockages."