how to save water

About us


It’s a sewer, not a skip!

21 July 2016 14:54

 | NI Water News
NI Water staff recently got to the bottom of a sewer blockage in the Poleglass area when a large collection of rubbish, including flagstones, chairs, wood, children’s’ toys and bricks, were removed from the system.

The items – all of which had the capacity to cause a sewer blockage and thus serious disruption for residents were removed after a significant effort on the part of NI Water staff.

Gary Little, NI Water’s Wastewater Field Manager for the Belfast area, said: ‘‘It seems some people have mistaken the public sewerage system for a skip, such was the quantity of rubbish and unwanted items we found in this case!
‘‘In all, NI Water staff spent three days removing items from this sewer that quite simply should not have been there.  Unfortunately, we find inappropriate items like flagstones and toys in the sewers all too often.  These, alongside what we call the ‘Dirty Dozen’ can cause severe damage to the sewerage system and result in serious blockages.
‘‘The ‘Dirty Dozen’ are the most common items the public flush and dump down our sewers.  The ring leader is the innocent looking baby wipe, closely followed by the sanitary towel.  These ordinary household items head a gang of everyday products that cause mayhem with the sewer system when flushed down the toilet or dumped in the sewers.
“We are literally fighting a daily battle to clear blocked sewers at a cost of over £2.5 million to NI Water every year.  NI Water will never win this battle on our own.  We need the support of the public and community representatives to work with us to dispose of these items in the bin rather than down the sewer.  This is absolutely essential if we are to keep our sewers running freely.’’

For more information visit:


For media queries, please contact the NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 4757 or email

Can't find what you're looking for? Visit the Need our Help or FAQ section