Underwear, clothes thrown in Māpua’s toilet obstructing sewer pumps


Engineers are baffled by the fact that clothes are thrown down the toilet in Māpua. Photo / 123rf


Tasman District Council engineers are baffled by the fact that clothes and underwear are being thrown down the toilet in Māpua.

The recurring problem has resulted in clothing blocking sewer pumps in the small coastal town.

Community infrastructure water and waste manager Mike Schruer said the clothes were causing problems at the Aranui-Higgs Rd sewage pumping station watershed.

Since the beginning of August, there have been eight pump blockages caused by t-shirts, swimsuits and underwear.

This is a problem that has occurred several times in Māpua over the past few years.

Schruer said blockages take several hours to clear and are costly as pumps have to be chipped, dismantled, cleaned, reassembled and reinstalled.

Each blockage entailed a cost to taxpayers.

New sanitation pumps were installed during a major upgrade to Māpua’s infrastructure last month and Schruer said he was concerned that the clothing jams could permanently damage them.

Engineers know the region where the clothing comes from, but cannot determine the exact property.

Schruer said if residents suspected it was a family member, please speak to them and point out the problem they were causing.

Anyone who feared it was a neighbor could confidently contact one of the wastewater engineers at Tasman District Council.

“In the meantime, remember that the sewer system is only intended for sewage, clothing and rags must be disposed of by other means.”


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