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NI Water Engineers Urge Public To 'Bag It and Bin It' in Rural Armagh

24 May 2010 13:12

Photograph of blocked sewer | NI Water News
NI Water is calling on businesses and residents in the Farmacaffley area of Armagh to be mindful of what they flush down the toilet after a series of blockages at the newly-upgraded Farmacaffley Wastewater Treatment Works.

The small rural wastewater facility was upgraded last year under NI Water’s £10m Rural Wastewater Improvement Programme, but is facing major difficulties with the large quantity of industrial and domestic wipes that are finding their way into the works’ inlet system.

Keith Taggart, Project Manager of the Rural Wastewater Investment Programme explains:

“Our sewerage system is only designed to cope with human waste and small volumes of toilet roll. Other items such as cleaning wipes, cotton buds, nappies and sanitary products which people flush down the toilet, do not break up and usually clump together to form a ball of rags.

“Many people genuinely don’t realise the damage they are doing, not only to their own internal pipes, but also to the sewerage system they share with their neighbours. It is only when faced with blocked drains and out-of- sewer flooding that they realise those ‘harmless wipes’ are in fact creating chaos!”

At present NI Water is replacing pieces of kit at the Farmacaffley works every week because of the ongoing blockages.

Referring to the wider problem of inappropriate flushing and dumping, Anthony McGirr, Networks Sewerage Customer Manager for the area said:

“The cost of the damage caused to our sewerage system by inappropriate flushing and dumping in drains is a major factor. NI Water spends in the region of £1.7 million per year clearing blocked drains, money which could be spent improving services to the local community.”

“NI Water’s ‘Bag It and Bin It’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of flushing inappropriate items down the toilet. NI Water is asking customers to spread this message and keep the sewers in the area clean and blockage free.”

Customers can view the damage done to sewers first hand by accessing the following YouTube video at:

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