A major sewage spill was narrowly avoided in Gisborne on Sunday evening, after a resident spotted a "bubbling manhole".
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A team of contractors was sent to the site, where the blockage was found to be caused by a massive ball of rags, according to the Gisborne District Council.
"A huge 150kg ball of rags was jammed in the pipe halfway between manholes," the council posted to Facebook.
"It's a reminder again to only flush the 3 Ps."
The three Ps are pee, poo and paper.
The blockage was found at one of the sewer's main pipes, on Stanley Rd, which is fed from Mangapapa.
Such blockages are not uncommon in sewers throughout New Zealand and around the world.
In 2017, a build-up of fat, grease and oil - a volatile mixture known as a "fatberg" - attracted rats and eventually caused a sewer-pipe failure in Dannevirke, which led to a sinkhole opening up.
In 2013, enough "wrongly flushed festering food fat mixed with baby wipes" to fill a double-decker bus caused the biggest "fatberg" ever recorded in Britain.
That blockage, which had accumulated over an estimated six months, weighed around 13.6 tonne.