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How to protect Auckland’s streams and harbours

The information below is from Auckland Council and has been copied from the email newsletter Our Auckland, dated 7 March.

Valuing Auckland’s water is not just about using less. It’s also about ensuring it stays clean and healthy. One key step is to keep your household pipes clear and pollutant-free.

Help protect our streams and harbours by following these tips

  • Don’t put wet wipes down the toilet. 
  • Don’t pour fat down the sink.
  • Check that downpipes and gully traps are properly installed and clear of debris.
  • Keep private septic tanks regularly serviced.
  • Wash your car on the lawn. This prevents contaminated water from draining into the stormwater system. 
  • Don’t pour paint, solvents, dirty car oil or other pollutants down the drain.
A sump full of disgusting wet wipes.

Gross. This is why you shouldn’t flush wet wipes down the toilet.

How blockages and pollutants can affect water quality

Overflows can carry polluted water into streams, rivers and harbours, damaging ecosystems and posing a risk to our health. So what causes overflows?

  • Wipes, cooking fats and other debris can block drains, causing wastewater pipes to spill over from gully traps and manholes.
  • When it rains, stormwater can get into wastewater pipes through faulty or poorly maintained drains on private property. This can overwhelm the public wastewater network and cause it to overflow.

Hazardous substances such as solvents can also flow into the environment if you pour them down the stormwater drain.