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Lisahally Pollution Incident

16 February 2012 16:24

NI Water has pleaded guilty to causing a pollution incident from its combined sewer network at Lisahally in the Foyle area on 1st March 2011.

Discharges from the sewer network can either happen when sewers become hydraulically overloaded and cannot cope with the volume of flow or when a blockage occurs. Blockages on many occasions are caused when inappropriate materials are put into our sewers.

A spokesperson for NI Water explained,

“This pollution incident was caused by a blockage in the sewer combined with an increased discharge coming from a local factory. NI Water staff were on the scene and had cleared the blockage within three hours of being notified of the incident.

“NI Water takes any issue of pollution extremely seriously and has invested approximately £490 million over the last three years to bring the sewerage network system and wastewater treatment works up to an acceptable standard.

“NI Water, however, is asking for the public’s assistance to help reduce these occurrences by not placing inappropriate items in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers. Sewerage systems are not designed to deal with the disposal of fat, oil and grease or items such as cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items and wipes. They often cause major blockages which can easily be prevented.

NI Water was fined £3,500. NI Water cooperated fully with the Loughs Agency throughout this process.

The spokesperson continued,

“NI Water views the protection of the environment as a major priority and invests significant resources and measures to safeguard it. NI Water is the only public body in Northern Ireland to have earned International ISO 14001 status, an international standardisation award based on a company’s environmental management system.”

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