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West Belfast – Bag It & Bin It

16 November 2018 12:18

NI Water has recently tackled blockages on the Glen Road and Whitecliff Drive areas of West Belfast and would like to take this opportunity to remind customers to be mindful of what they flush.

Gavin McCready, area manager explains, “We have all seen the unpleasant result of an overflowing manhole in the street or worse, an overflowing toilet in a home.  Either way, no one wants to see or smell it (not even us!) but the reality is it happens regularly at a cost of millions to NI Water each year.  CCTV footage has been obtained from the recent blockage on the Glen Road area of West Belfast and highlights exactly the damage flushing ‘harmless’ wipes can do.

“This particular incident was very distressing for residents in this area with our own team working hard to not only find the source of the flooding but also to unblock it.

“What we found was an extraordinary amount of wipes and other inappropriate items such as sanitary items. That means this blockage was completely avoidable; by taking simple measures and only flushing the 3P’s – Paper, Poo and Pee, will help alleviate this problem reoccurring.

“In the greater Belfast area, across a two-year period, we estimate 5,500 blockages at a cost of approximately £800,000.

"In the last ten years, NI Water has spent over £1.5 billion investing in water and wastewater infrastructure but no amount of investment will completely stop blocked pipes if people continue  to flush wipes (including flushable), sanitary items and cotton buds down the toilet.”

According to recent research carried out by Water UK, 93% of the material causing sewer blockages was made up of wipes - including a high proportion of baby wipes - which are not designed to be flushed. Less than 1% of the domestic waste in the blockages was identified as made up of products which are designed to be flushed, such as toilet paper.* 

Visit to view the video and meet ‘Flo’ on her journey into the sewers.


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