On Wednesday 22 March 2017 the United Nation's World Water Day will pull the plug on wastewater.
Each year, the average Australian produces 44,000 litres of wastewater or ‘used’ water that goes into our sewer systems.
This World Water Day, Ballina Shire Council is asking residents to think twice about their wastewater and the materials they are pouring down their drain.
Foreign items such as ‘flushable’ wipes have been a major problem for the Shire’s pipes, but this year Council is honing in on another culprit clogging our sewers – fat. The number of blocked sewers due to fat build up within our pipes and pump stations is on the rise.
“People flushing foreign matter down the toilet isn’t the only problem, what gets put down drains and sinks also block our sewers,” said Water and Wastewater Manager, Ms Bridget Walker.
“Cooking oils and fats solidify on the walls of the pipelines and over time cause constrictions, which results in blockages. This becomes expensive to repair and clean,” said Ms Walker.
These unnecessary maintenance costs also impact on funding for essential infrastructure upgrades and ultimately costs the rate payer.
To keep Ballina Shire’s pipes clear and working correctly, we all need to be aware of what products can and cannot go down our drains and toilets.
These items should not be flushed or poured down the drain:
• cooking oils and fats
• sanitary items
• paint and chemicals
• wet wipes
• plastic objects
• colostomy bags.
To dispose of your cooking oils and fats for free, pop them in sealed or leak-proof container and dispose of them at Council’s Community Recycling Centre, 167 Southern Cross Drive, Ballina.
“I use recycled water for all uses except cooking and drinking, I am very comfortable using it, to me it is clean and odour free.” This was one of a number of similar responses obtained from a recent survey conducted by Ballina Shire Council to gauge the level of satisfaction of local residents who were turned on to recycled water during the service’s initial roll out phase in July this year.
According to the survey, a majority of recycled water users were satisfied with the quality of the service, which included its pressure, clarity and convenience.
“I think the quality is excellent and I support the inclusion of recycled water into our shire over the long term,” responded another satisfied local recycled water user.
Strategic Engineer Water and Wastewater Andrew Swan said that he was happy with the level of satisfaction depicted in the survey results but said the level of understanding could be improved.