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WAF Urges Proper Rubbish Disposal To Prevent Wastewater Overflows

The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) is urging Fijians to properly dispose of rubbish and to refrain from interfering with wastewater systems and other WAF assets after a sewer overflowed into the drain recently at Boreta Road in Nadawa.WAF Chief Operating Officer, Seru Soderberg said that upon investigation by the team, they found the issue was caused by non-sewerage waste blocking the pump at the wastewater pump station in Boreta Street.

“As always, our team attended to the issue as soon as we were alerted to it and our team found a blockage in the pump caused by rags that had been improperly disposed of in our wastewater assets,” said Mr Soderberg.“Our team conducted repairs and disinfected the spillage site. However, it is important to note that this was an avoidable issue. We once again ask the public to please not dispose of rubbish down your toilet – throw it in the bin.”

“We have consistently put out advisories, informing customers to only dispose of approved waste down their toilets — namely, liquid and solid human waste, and toilet paper.”In the past, the WAF wastewater operations team has conducted awareness programs in the past to educate Nadawa residents on why they shouldn’t litter (dumping of rags, utensils and other large debris) into WAF’s wastewater system as it can cause issues such as blocked pumps and blocked pipelines resulting in overflows in the network.“Following the awareness program, the wastewater team did not record any faults at the pump station until last week, whereupon we conducted the inspection and found the rags.”

Mr Soderberg said that in the instances where water supply had been disrupted due to a blockage caused by litter or where a sewage overflow occurred, entire communities are impacted.“Those littering fail to realise that entire communities — their fellow Fijians — are affected by their carelessness. WAF resources such as manpower and finances are impacted. These resources could have been better utilised on planned development work but are instead diverted into fixing an issue that could have been avoided if people cared enough to be responsible.”

“I urge every single Fijian to do the right thing and to dutifully dispose of their rubbish correctly and only use their wastewater facilities for their intended purpose.”Mr Soderberg also outlined the various measures taken to combat this issue impacting WAF wastewater assets.“WAF does its part by conducting routine checks once a fortnight unless an emergency arises in other parts of the network. We encourage customers to notify WAF upon witnessing an overflow or burst main so that it can be resolved quickly.”

Mr Soderberg thanked those Fijians who have been and continue to be responsible by disposing of their rubbish in the correct manner.“We appreciate your foresight in helping to keep the country litter-free and for caring for your communities.”

For more information, you can call 334 6777 and 5777 (Vodafone, Digicel, & Inkk users) or email contact@waf.com.fj

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