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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Nadia Breen

NI Water release image of huge wipe blockage staff worked into night to clear

NI Water has released an image of a huge wipe blockage in Antrim.

Workers attended Steeple Road on Tuesday evening and worked into the night to locate and clear the blockage caused by inappropriate items in the sewer.

NI Water is now urging residents in Antrim to bin wipes in a bid to prevent blockages in the sewage system and to minimise the impact of waste on the environment.

Read more: Northern Ireland species 'under threat' list sees more than 100 animals added

They say the blockage which was caused by a build-up of wipes from nearby developments.

A full clean-up and disinfection of the area was also undertaken.

David Harris, from NI Water Wastewater Networks, explained the dangers of flushing inappropriate items down the toilet.

He said: “These blockages and subsequent sewage spills could have been prevented. NI Water would like to ask for the public’s assistance by not placing inappropriate items in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers. Waste Water Treatment Works and sewerage systems are not designed to deal with items such as cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items and wipes which often cause major blockages or end up on our beaches.

“This is also harmful to wildlife and the environment. Whilst NI Water has a responsibility for the sewerage system, everyone in Northern Ireland can help protect the beaches and environment. The advice is simple - Bin it, don’t flush it.”

A recent survey by Water UK shows that 75 percent of drain blockages are caused by people flushing wet wipes down the loo.

A NI Water statement added: "Around 90 per cent of wet wipes contain some sort of plastic and, unlike toilet paper, don’t break down in our sewers. This is a costly issue that affects every region across the UK and it is also a leading cause of fatbergs and river and sea pollution.

"Every year the UK spends around £100 million clearing an estimated 300,000 fatbergs."

NI Water say items which should NOT be flushed include:

• Nappies and baby wipes
• Cotton buds
• Sanitary towels and tampons
• Panty liners
• Condoms
• Razor Blades


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