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Help us keep sewers clear

NI Water has appealed to people to only flush toilet roll down their toilets.

Help us keep sewers clear

An example of the blockages caused by wet wipes.

NI Water has appealed to people to only flush toilet roll down their toilets.

The appeal was made after it was revealed that the water ultility company is dealing with an increased number of blocked sewers in recent days as a result of inappropriate items being flushed down toilets.

The biggest problem is being caused by wet wipes.

Sales of wet wipes have soared in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and the lockdown announced last week.

However, NI Water are urging people to dispose of the wipes in the proper fashion.

NI Water’s Angela Halpenny, Head of Environmental Regulation, said they are asking customers to help them reduce sewer and pump blockages by not flushing wet wipes or kitchen roll.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in blockages over the last while, with some pumps at our treatment works becoming damaged,” she said.

“Fixing these pumps is an unnecessary drain on resources, meaning we are unable to treat wastewater as quickly as we would like to.

“It is absolutely right that people are taking extra precautions around hygiene at this time, however, if you use wipes, please put them in the bin, not down the loo.

“These items, along with cotton buds and sanitary products, can cause blockages in the sewer which are difficult to clear and can cause raw sewage to come back up and flood homes, businesses and the environment.

If everyone follows the simple message of only flushing the three P’s, pee, poo and toilet paper, most out of sewer flooding will be prevented.”

Ms Halpenny said NI Water’s priority during the Covid-19 outbreak is to ensure the continued provision of water and wastewater services to customers while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of staff.

“By following this advice, you will be helping to reduce the number of potential blockages during what is a very challenging time for everyone.”

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