It’s not just tourists visiting the beautiful seaside town of Portrush, last week fatbergs turned up too! Unfortunately, they weren’t there to ride the big dipper but instead block and damage equipment at Portrush Harbour WwPS (Wastewater Pumping Station).
The build-up of fat, oil and grease (known as FOG) combined with other inappropriate items such as wipes clogged up the system and took a number of days to dislodge and clean up. Furthermore, it cost hundreds of pounds to fix.
John Bell, Wastewater Manager for the area comments, “What goes down must come out, it won’t magically disappear so we are appealing to restaurants in the area to not pour FOG down the sink.
“As FOG cools, it solidifies; this creates blockages in the sewerage system. We would ask business owners to dispose of their FOG appropriately and ensure their grease traps are working correctly.
“Similarly, the wastewater drain which runs from each house is only a few inches wide and is only designed for human waste and toilet roll. Please only flush the 3p’s, pee, poo and paper; everything else goes in the bin.
John concludes, “We have all seen the disgusting effects of an overflowing manhole in the street or worse, an overflowing toilet in a home. Fixing blocked pumps removes valuable time and money from other services which need them most.
“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.”