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Preventing blockages and overflows

Maintaining your pipes and using them correctly is the best way to prevent blockages and overflows – both on your property and in the public network.

In and around your home

Graphic showing a residential house and its water pipes, wastewater pipes and stormwater pipes

Kitchen sink

Scrape your cooking fats into your Auckland Council Food scraps bin, if you have one. Don’t pour fats, oils or grease down the sink. They can harden and block your pipes and ours.


Only flush away toilet paper and human waste. Use a bin for wipes, nappies, personal hygiene products and other items.

Laundry tub

Only pour soapy water down the drain. Don’t pour paints, pesticides, solvents, motor oil or any other hazardous waste.

For more information, read What not to flush

Private drains

Maintain your wastewater drains. Old and leaky pipes allow stormwater to seep into the wastewater network and cause overflows.

Stormwater downpipes

Check that your downpipe connects to the stormwater network. It should not connect to our wastewater network. Stormwater in the wastewater network can overload it and cause an overflow.

Photo of a compliant downpipe

A compliant downpipe

Separate from a gully trap and connects to the stormwater pipes on your property.

Photo showing non-compliant downpipe as it is discharging into the wastewater gully trap

A non-compliant downpipe

Connects to a gully trap so the stormwater will enter the wastewater pipes.

Gully trap

Make sure your gully trap is compliant. It should be raised off the ground and covered by a grate. This helps prevent rainwater or debris from entering the wastewater network and causing it to overflow.

Well-made gully traps collect wastewater from your house before it enters the underground sewer. They have a water seal to prevent odour and stop wastewater from overflowing into your home if a pipe is blocked.

Photo of a compliant gully trap with grate covering it

A compliant gully trap

Compliant gully traps are raised off the ground, and covered by a grate.

Photo of a non-compliant gully trap that is level with the ground

A non-compliant gully trap

Gully traps that are level with the ground, or have stormwater connected to it, are non-compliant.

Trees and roots

Before planting a tree, check where the pipes are on your property. You can do this using Auckland Council's GeoMaps. You can also check out where public water or wastewater pipes run past your property on our GIS map.

Tree roots can spread 1.5x further than their adult branches and easily damage pipes. Ask your local garden shop or local nursery for advice on a suitable tree.

Manholes inside your property

Manholes on private land are still our responsibility. If you see any spillage from a manhole, contact us, and we’ll have a team there within the hour.

On public land

Manholes on public land

We’re responsible for manholes on public or private land. If you see any spillage from a manhole, contact us, and we’ll have a team there within the hour.

Stormwater drain

Auckland Council is responsible for stormwater drains. If they look blocked or flooded, call Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

Download our 'Keeping your pipes flowing' poster

English version
Te reo Māori