Preventing Sewer Blockages

Most pump station blockages are caused by people flushing things down the toilet or sink that they shouldn’t like wet wipes, rags, and sanitary products.  On average there are 165 blockages to sewer pipes and about 150 blockages of pump stations in our district every year, costing $97,000. 

You can help protect the environment and prevent sewer blockages by following these practical tips. 

Toilet 

What you put down your toilet can affect your pipes and our sewer network. To prevent blockages only flush human waste and toilet paper.  Everything else should go into a rubbish bin, even wipes that claim to be flushable or biodegradable can still block pipes and pump stations.

What to do  

 Do flush  Don't flush
 Human waste (pee and poo)  Any wipes, including baby wipes, wet wipes and flushable wipes
 Toilet paper  Nappy liners
   Sanitary items like pads and tampons
   Cotton buds
   Rags
   Condoms

Fats Oil and Grease 

If fat, oil or grease is poured down your kitchen sink it cools and turns hard. When this accumulates it causes blockages. Running hot water will just move the problem further down the pipes. 

What to do

 Do   Don't

 Pour small amounts of leftover cooled fat, oil and grease into newspaper
and dispose of it in the food scraps bin.

 Pour fat, oil or grease down your kitchen sick.
 Let fat cool down then scrape pots and frying pans before washing.    
 Recycle large amounts of cooking oil.   

Trees and roots

As trees grow and mature their roots can reach pipes and damage them. The roots collect debris, obstruct flow and eventually cause blockages. Root damage in pipes can also cause stormwater to enter the pipes, during heavy rain this results in extra water at the wastewater treatment plant and may result in an overflow. 

What to do

Before you plant trees on your property check if there are any pipes underground and avoid planting trees close to them.