Increased flushing of wet wipes concerns QLDC

Mar 16, 2020

A QLDC contractor lowered into Wanaka's Project Pure Waste Water Treatment Plant to undertake repairs last year

A large spike in the number of wet wipes being flushed down our district’s toilets is causing concern.

Queenstown Lakes District Council General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby issued a reminder to all residents and visitors that wet wipes should never be flushed down the toilet.

“Our contractors are reporting a large increase in the number of wet wipes found in the district’s wastewater networks in recent weeks,” Mr Hansby said.

“Antibacterial wipes are currently in hot demand as people take extra hygiene precautions in light of concerns about COVID-19. While many of these products say they can be flushed, that is simply not the case.”

“The best approach is to keep a small bin next to your toilet to dispose of anything that isn’t one of the three P’s, that’s poo, pee or paper. Putting anything else down the toilet will ultimately cause blockages in the network and repairing these come at an unnecessary cost to the ratepayer,” he said.

Contractors have already responded to two minor overflows in recent weeks caused directly by wet wipes blocking the pipes.

“We all have a part to play in protecting our environment and keeping the three waters infrastructure running smoothly. These blockages and overflows can be avoided if we all do the right thing,” Mr Hansby said.

The Council will soon be offering local hotels and tourist attractions posters to display in bathrooms to help educate visitors about what is safe to flush down the toilet.

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