Outside your home

- Avoid damaging any public wastewater pipes which pass through your property.
- If public wastewater pipes pass through your property please make sure access to these pipes is not restricted by retaining walls or garden sheds.
- Never plant trees or shrubs on your property within 1.5 metres of buried wastewater pipelines – tree roots can damage the pipes and can cost you a lot in repair bills.
- Make sure gutters and down pipes are connected to stormwater drains (not wastewater). If connected to the wastewater system, wastewater overflows can occur.
- Maintain your wastewater drainage system in good condition. Leaking pipes can block and be a public health risk.
- Never pour motor oil, fuels, solvents or highly toxic substances into the gully trap – dispose of these items safely.

Inside your home

Our wastewater network is only designed for pee, poo and [toilet] paper so please don’t use it as waste disposal. Some handy tips:

- Never pour cooking fats and oils down the kitchen sink – put them in your rubbish bin.
- Don’t rinse coffee grounds down the sink – compost them or put them in your rubbish bin.
- Avoid using a food disposal unit – compost where you can.
- Don’t flush sanitary items – put them in the rubbish bin or a sanitary bin.
- Choose environmentally friendly washing machine detergents.

Wastewater overflows

Overflows (into public or private property, waterways and the sea) can occur as a result of wastewater overflowing gully traps, manholes, engineered overflow points, or pump stations. They occur when the wastewater system has been overloaded with water, typically after a heavy rainfall event. To avoid wastewater overflows ensure you are only connecting wastewater plumbing to your gully trap.   Read more

What's inflow and infiltration?

Inflow and infiltration (or "I and I") are two leading causes of environmental risk stemming from urban wastewater networks. InflowInflow refers to both stormwater entering the wastewater network and wastewater entering the stormwater network. Inflow occurs mainly through illegal cross-connections between the two pipe networks. In the case of the wastewater network, excess stormwater overloads the system and can result in wastewater that has not been treated fully entering the environment.   Read more

Ragmonsters and Fatbergs

What could be lurking in your pipes? Sometimes things end up in the wastewater system that shouldn’t be there. ‘Rag Monsters’ are made up of wet wipes, tampons, sanitary pads, nappies, cloth, hair and other non-biodegradable material, and they should never be flushed down the toilet. They can block up wastewater pipes – which could cost you a lot of money in plumber bills to repair if the damage happens within your property boundary.   Read more

Is it safe to swim?

It is recommended you do not swim for two days following a heavy rainfall event. This is to not only protect you from wastewater overflows, but also other contaminants from stormwater that wash off the roads. If you want to know if it is safe to swim, check out more LAWA sites here.   Read more