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Bin It, Don’t Flush It Key Message To Keep Staff Safe

All Hamiltonians have a part to play in helping to keep themselves and others safe during the Alert Level 4 period.

This extends to helping ease the pressure on our City Waters staff having to respond to blockages within our wastewater network.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown begun, around 20 call outs relating to wastewater blockages have been attended to by Hamilton City Council’s City Delivery team.

Blockages can create wastewater overflows and damage to the wastewater network, which can cause pollution of the environment.

One of the significant contributors to these blockages is wet wipes and cleaning wipes being flushed down people’s toilets.

“These wipes contain plastic fibre which can clog up pipes and pumps fundamental to the operation of our wastewater treatment plant and network,” says Hamilton City Council’s City Waters Manager Maire Porter.

“With our essential staff having to respond to these blockages and failures at pump stations, it takes them away from responding to other key tasks in managing and maintaining our city’s waters network.”

Everything put down the drain or flushed down the toilet requires transport through our hundreds of kilometres of underground pipes and over 140 pumping stations, as well as treatment at our Wastewater Plant in Pukete. By disposing of everyday items correctly to rubbish, rather than flushing down the toilet we can help to prevent blockages and protect the environment.

“It’s important to be mindful of our actions to lessen the number of times essential services need to be called on – as much as you want to keep yourself safe, it’s also important to consider the safety of others, we’re all in this together – so let’s not just flush and forget,” says Ms Porter.

In the past 12 months, there have been approximately 380 wastewater blockages within the city’s wastewater network and around 180 wastewater pump stations callouts due to foreign items causing blockages.

Some everyday items that should not enter the wastewater system include wet wipes, nappies, sanitary items, cotton buds, oils and grease, cleaning products/chemicals/paints, food scraps, paper, plastics and paint rinse water.

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