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Creggan Heights, You Need to Bin It, Not Flush It

26 March 2019 11:08

NI Water were called to Creggan Heights recently to tackle a severe blockage of wipes and rags. This incident, one of many in five months, once again caused out of sewer flooding.

In November 2018, following reports of a blocked sewer in the area, staff found an unbelievable amount of wipes in the sewer. NI Water received further reports of out of sewer flooding in Creggan Heights following a period of heavy rainfall in early March. An NI Water team member attended the area and cleared a large blockage from the sewer. The blockage was a ball of rags, made up primarily of baby wipes and sanitary items. This ball of rags, combined with the heavy rainfall, caused the sewer to overflow. 

Gavin McCready, sewerage manager for the area explains, “This incident is an unwelcome reminder of the unpleasant impact of putting the wrong things down the sewer.  The most common cause of blockages are baby wipes and sanitary items. 

“To provide a sense of scale, a trunk sewer pipe, which takes wastewater from hundreds of homes, can be in the region of 300mm in diameter. A pipe coming from the home is much smaller, measuring only 100mm in diameter and can easily block when inappropriate items such as wipes, cotton buds and sanitary ware are flushed.  

“These items are designed to absorb water and as such they do not break down the way toilet paper does. If enough customers are flushing them at one time, the chances of a blockage is quite high. In fact, we deal with hundreds of blockages each year caused by these very items.

“Blockages and out of sewer flooding are extremely unpleasant and affects the whole community. We have all seen the disgusting effects of an overflowing manhole in the street and no one wants to see or smell it (not even us!) but we all have the power to stop it. Taking simple measures and only flushing the 3P’s – Paper, Poo and Pee, will help alleviate the avoidable problem of blocked sewers.

“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 dump rubbish, flush wipes (including flushable), sanitary items and cotton buds down the toilet.

“Customer awareness and behaviour change is the only real way to address sewer misuse; it’s simple really, don’t flush anything other than paper, poo and pee and keep wastewater ‘Flo-ing’ through your home and our network.”

Residents will receive a leaflet drop of the leaflet attached. A further CCTV investigation will also be carried out to check everything is running clearly.   

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

ENDS

All media enquiries to the press office on press.office@niwater.com

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