Watercare partners with Plunket

18 February 2019

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We have partnered with Plunket New Zealand 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 Plunket’s partnership with Watercare provides a meaningful opportunity to leverage both organisations’ resources throughout the Auckland region 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.”

Watercare’s head of production, Peter Rogers, says the company spends around $1 million each year removing 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.”
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The partnership reflects 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.

Plunket is the largest provider of free support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under five in New Zealand. The national organisation plays an important role in connecting people, organisations, government and businesses within communities – and connecting communities with each other.