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A Bridge Over Dirty Waters

19 October 2020 13:45

 | NI Water News

NI Water is appealing to businesses, restaurants and households in the Antrim area to please be mindful of what they are putting down the drain following recent out of sewer flooding in the area.

Over the last few months, near the Dunadry Bridge area of The Six Mile River, NI Water staff have had to deal with five major blockages causing out of sewer flooding affecting customers and the river itself. These blockages are due to the inappropriate disposal of Fats,Oils Greases (FOG) down the sink and other inappropriate material such as wipes down toilet.

Brian Donaghy, Wastewater Customer Field Manager for the area explains, “While most homes and businesses use grease traps and bin their waste correctly, there are those who don’t and this is what happens as a result.

“We would appeal to all our customers, especially food outlets in the area, to dispose of their FOG appropriately. For householders, let it cool and then put it into the bin. Alternatively, pour it into a disposable container and take it to your local oil bank.

“Businesses also risk blocking their own drainage systems, which results in extra costs being incurred in clean-up efforts. These fat blockages can not only result in out of sewer flooding, but odour problems and the risk of rat infestations both near and beyond your premises. Ways to dispose of FOG include fitting a grease trap, using an enzyme dosing system or recycling it.  

“As these incidents show, 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 the reality is, it happens regularly at a cost of millions to NI Water each year. 

“We all have the power to stop it. 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.”

Brian concludes, “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 dispose of FOG properly to keep wastewater flowing through your home and our network.”

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