NI Water Warns Of Sewer Blocking With Wipes


Sewer Blockages See Significant Increase Warns NI Water.

NI Water has renewed its call for the public to assist them in keeping the sewer network clear by only flushing toilet roll. The move comes as people are using more wet wipes and the company has seen a significant increase in blockages. 

NI Water’s Angela Halpenny, Head of Environmental Regulation, said: “We are asking customers to please help us 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. 

Ni Water is concerned at the amount of wipes being flushed down the loo and blocking pumps.

“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. 

Check out the bag it and bin it link: 

“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.” Angela added: “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.”

Check out the bathroom checklist of ‘never flush’ items below:

  • all wipes (baby, personal cleansing, toilet and household cleaning) – even if the pack says ‘flushable’
  • sanitary items (sanitary towels, tampons, liners, applicators and backing strips
  • cotton wool, cotton buds, disposable nappies and nappy liners
  • condoms, incontinence pads, colostomy bags, used bandages and contact lenses
  • The campaign covers advice and information for domestic and non-domestic customers. 

        According to recent research carried out by Water UK, 93% of the material causing sewer blockages was made up of wipes – including a high proportion of baby wipes – which are not designed to be flushed. Less than 1% of the domestic waste in the blockages was identified as made up of products which are designed to be flushed, such as toilet paper.



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