The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF), once again reminds the public to refrain from improperly flushing or otherwise disposing of waste items such as rags, plastic bags, diapers, which cannot be processed by WAF wastewater systems, as it causes major blockages to pipelines, overflowing of manholes, damage to essential equipment, and negatively impacts entire communities, as well as the environment.
This comes after a team from WAF attended to a sewerage overflow on Saturday, 28 August 2021, which had been reported by residents living opposite the Delai-Labasa Junction in Labasa, and had seeped into a nearby creek.
WAF Board Chairman, Bhavesh Kumar, said that while in the process of attending to the issue, WAF technicians found that the source of the issue was a blockage caused by waste that was not suitable for disposal within the sewer system.
“The blockage led to the occurrence of a malfunction within the station’s pump, and once our technicians removed the object that was causing the blockage, the overflow had stopped. Chemical disinfection then followed, as part of our normal mitigation steps after an overflow has occurred,” said Mr Kumar.
“It is extremely disappointing that this is a recurring issue, despite regular and numerous reminders – some lazy and irresponsible individuals continue to engage in such improper disposal, including the dumping of rubbish into WAF assets outdoors. In the past, on most similar occasions, our technicians have found several non-sewerage related items such as rags, plastic bags, bandages, diapers, sanitary pads, cables, and even tyres and parts of machinery.”
“In this instance, it was particularly egregious as the incident affected residents who live very close by to the creek and have been known to use it for some of their personal needs.”
Mr Kumar reminded members of the public to be considerate of their community and fellow Fijians and to consider how the consequences of their actions affect others.
“What happens, as a result of such carelessness, is not limited to the individual – it has a ripple effect which can be felt by several groups of innocent people and I urge every Fijian to please be responsible and to carefully dispose of non-sewerage related items in the rubbish bin.”
“In such cases, thousands of dollars have to be spent on avoidable repairs, which could be better utilised on other essential development works for the benefit of Fijians. It also presents a health hazard to members of communities and damages the environment, as well. Please make use of the many proper disposal methods that are available and help prevent such disruptions.”