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Does Anyone Have Anything to Confess ?

16 February 2010 8:08

Photograph : Some of the rubbish removed from a sewer in Colinglen Park
With Lent just around the corner, and confession high on the cards, does anyone want to confess to dumping 20 Fire Extinguishers down a sewer in Glencolin?

The extinguishers were the recent discovery by NI Water staff during a visit to a problem storm sewer in Glencolin Park, West Belfast.

After receiving complaints from the local community about out of sewer flooding, NI Water staff were surprised to find a blockage caused by 20 fire extinguishers, a mattress, site fencing, numerous lengths and pieces of timber, a plastic bin, a manhole cover and what appears to be an old Christmas tree!

Carson Smylie, Field Manager for the area comments:

“Over the years we have found some pretty unusual things dumped into the sewerage system but never have we seen this amount of rubbish in one sewer. If it wasn’t for the local community group alerting us to this and our quick response, additional out of sewer flooding could have occurred, possibly even flooding homes in the area.

“People don’t realise the damage they are doing when they dump rubbish into a sewer. The average size of a sewer pipe is 6inchs and only designed to carry human waste and toilet roll, not to carry rubbish such as mattresses or Christmas trees! This kind of dumping is threatening the condition of the sewerage system, a sewerage system that over 200 homes in the area rely on.”

NI Water has been working with the local community group to resolve this problem and is appealing to the wider community to stop this activity.

NI Water spends in the region of £1.7 million per year clearing blocked sewers, this is money which could be better spent improving services to the local community.

To help the system work properly, we need to use it responsibly. Whilst NI Water has a responsibility for the sewerage system, everyone in Northern Ireland has a duty to dispose of their waste appropriately.

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