Wet wipes to protect against Covid-19 could block wastewater pipes

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
With the use of anti-bacterial wet wipes on the rise to protect against coronavirus, Christchurch residents are warned not to flush them down the toilet to avoid wastewater blockages.

The Christchurch City Council says there has been an increase in blockages in some NZ cities due to people using more cleaning wipes as a precaution against the Covid-19 and then flushing them instead of binning them.

Said council head of three waters and waste Helen Beaumont: "The only things people should be flushing are the three Ps – pee, poo, and paper."

"Even so-called flushable wipes don’t break down properly in the wastewater system.

"They bunch together and can cause blockages, breakdowns and overflows further down the line, with the potential for sewage to then leak into our streams and rivers.

“If you do use wet wipes, please put them in the rubbish rather than down the loo.”

Ms Beaumont said it is a timely reminder for people after several wastewater blockages in Auckland.

"We don’t want to see the same happening here, so it’s important people are made aware of the issues now so they can practise good habits when it comes to disposing of wet wipes,” she said.

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter