NI Water would like to remind customers in the Ballykelly area, County Londonderry not to flush inappropriate items down the toilet and especially wipes.
In recent days, the sewage pumping station at Walworth Sewage Pumping Station (WSPS) has thrown up a large number of wipes.
Wet wipes, by their nature, absorb water and in doing so expand. Mix that with other inappropriate items being dumped down the loo such as cotton wool and sanitary items, and it combines to form rags that clump together and block the sewers. You should only flush the three Ps: Pee, Poo and Paper. For anything else, ‘Bag it and Bin it.’
Walworth, the old army camp and housing area of Ballykelly is an area of outstanding beauty that we need you to protect. The out of sewer flooding that can result of a build-up of wipes can be extensive and a major inconvenience for the area.
Many people genuinely don’t realise the damage they are doing to the sewerage system they share with their neighbours. The ‘harmless wipes’ they are flushing are causing havoc for those around them.
According to 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.
Customer awareness and behaviour change is the only real way to address sewer misuse; the message is simple, don’t flush anything other than pee, poo and paper and keep wastewater ‘Flo-ing’ through your drains and our network.
In the last ten years, NI Water has spent over £1.5 billion investing in water and wastewater infrastructure. However, no amount of investment will completely stop blocked pipes if people continue to flush wipes (including those labelled as flushable), sanitary items and cotton buds down the toilet.