Some gross surprises in Whakatāne and Murupara’s wastewater systems has prompted Whakatāne District Council to remind the community about what can and can’t be flushed down toilets and drains.

Council Manager Three Waters Glenn Cooper said the team has been disappointed to come across several small fatbergs which have taken some time and money to clear.

“We’ve found wet wipes, undies, towels, rope, wire, and clothes pegs all held together with cold cooking fat and oil,” he said.

“These masses, called fatbergs, block our pipes and can lead to overflows of sewage and pipe breakages.”

Mr Cooper said the only things that can be flushed down toilets and drains are the “Three P’s” – Poo, Pee and toilet Paper.

“Recently, the New Zealand and Australian Governments agreed to set standards on what products can be flushed down the loo and what can’t,” said Mr Cooper.

“In order to be ‘flushable’ products must pass six different tests, they can then display the new flushable logo. If it doesn’t have this logo, don’t flush it.

“Please put all your rubbish, including wet wipes, in your bin, pour any fats and oils into a container before binning it, and wipe greasy pans with a paper towel before washing them.”

Information on the new flushable standards can be found at