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Council backs NI Water in ‘Flushing Out’ blockages

10 January 2020

NI Water is starting the New Year by taking on blockages and ‘flushing’ out the worst offenders in Northern Ireland.

The company has identified the top 20 blockage ‘hotspots’ and how much they cost. Overall, these areas have seen over 20,000 blockages in the last two years, costing the company approximately £5m.

In addition to finding the common wipes blocking pipes, there was also 3,000 blockages including items of building material, potatoes and carrots and fatbergs in the Derry area.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, said: “NI Water is responsible for the sewage system, but we’re all responsible for what we flush and the negative impact this can have on the environment.

“Blocked pipes can result in out of sewer flooding in the community, not to mention rivers and even beaches, so I would encourage everyone to play their part by following NI Water’s advice. If it’s not the three P’s - bin it, don’t flush it.”

NI Water’s Head of Environmental Regulation, Angela Halpenny explains, “NI Water fights a daily battle with blocked sewers and this time we are ‘flushing’ out the worst offenders in a bid to reduce blockages. 

“The main cause of blocked sewers and out of sewer flooding is the flushing of inappropriate items such as baby wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products. Blockages are completely avoidable if everyone adopts a simple habit of binning everything other than the three P’s, pee, poo and paper.

“Look out for our ‘blocked pipes flood homes’ adverts and see how we all have the power to stop it.

Angela continued: “We have all seen the disgusting effects of an overflowing manhole in the street or worse, an overflowing toilet in a home. We hope that our customers get behind us and start this New Year by adopting better flushing habits.  In the last ten years, we have 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.”

You can visit www.niwater.com/bag-it-and-bin-it/ for further information.