Plunket partners with Watercare

Plunket New Zealand has partnered with Watercare in Auckland and Wellington Water to help families and whānau understand how they can protect their health and the local environment by being mindful of what they pour down the sink and flush down the toilet.

Plunket’s Northern Region Operations Manager Sam Ferreira says the partnerships provide a meaningful opportunity to leverage resources throughout our main regions to benefit families and the community.

“A lot of families are unaware of fatbergs, which are congealed masses of fat, grease, wet wipes and other non-flushable items. Fatbergs can block pipes and cause wastewater to overflow into people’s backyards as well as local waterways and beaches.

“We want people to know that if they flush non-biodegradable items – especially wet wipes, they are not only contributing to the growth of fatbergs, they are also running the risk of a wastewater overflow at home and a plumbing bill to fix blocked pipes.”

Auckland Watercare head of production, Peter Rogers, says the company spends around $1 million each year removing and preventing blockages from Auckland’s wastewater network and cleaning up overflows.

“We’re really pleased to be working with Plunket to let families know that we all play a part in reducing overflows and keeping our local environment healthy.

“The main thing we want to say to everyone is to only flush the Three Ps – Poo, Pee and (toilet) Paper. Everything else, including wipes – even if they’re marked flushable – should be put in the bin.

“Some wipes even contain non-biodegradable plastics, which can take decades to disintegrate.”

The partnerships reflect the shared interest between Plunket, councils and water utilities to support the community and do the right thing for the environment.

“We know thousands of New Zealanders rely on Plunket to provide topical and relevant information and advice to help them to support their families and communities, and we are very pleased to partner with Watercare and play a part in one day eradicating fatbergs from New Zealand pipes,” Ms Ferreira said.

Watercare is an Auckland Council organisation and New Zealand’s largest water utility while Wellington Water is owned by the Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt and Wellington city councils and Greater Wellington Regional Council. Both organisations aim to provide safe and efficient water and wastewater services.

18 February 2019

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