‘Dirty dozen’ behind Antrim sewage spill

The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.
The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ are being blamed for wreaking havoc on NI Water’s sewer system at Altmore Close in Antrim.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ are the 12 most common items the public flush and dump down our sewers. The ring leader is the innocent looking baby wipe, closely followed by sanitary towel.

The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.

The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.

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.

Brian Donaghy, Customer Field Manage, said: “A major blockage at a manhole in Altmore Close caused extensive out of sewer flooding.

“When our team cleared the sewer they pulled out a massive amount of ‘rags’ which are clumps of baby wipes, sanitary towels and face wipes which ball together to create the blockage.

“The out of sewer flooding that resulted was extensive and created a major inconvenience for local residents.

The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.

The sewage spill at Altmore Gardens in Antrim.

“Many people genuinely don’t realise the damage they are doing, not only to their own internal pipes, but also to the sewerage system they share with their neighbours.

“It is only when faced with blocked drains and out of sewer flooding that they realise those ‘harmless wipes’ are in fact creating chaos! Even those wipes that claim to be flushable should be put in the bin.

“We are literally fighting a daily battle to clear blocked sewers at a cost of over £2.5 million to NI Water every year.”

A leaflet detailing all the ‘Dirty Dozen’ gang can be found at www.niwater.com