NI Water has appealed to the public to take care with the items they flush away after a blockage caused by rags at Rathcoole’s Deer Fin Park.
A group named the ‘Dirty Dozen team’ hopes to educate the public over items which should not enter the sewer system.
The ‘Dirty Dozen’ gang are the 12 most common items the public flush and dump down sewers.
According to NI Water, the ring leader causing the majority of the problems is the baby wipe, closely followed by sanitary towels.
The company says that 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.
Member of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ team Gary Little, whose group was set up to combat the growing threat to Northern Ireland’s sewers, explained:
“These rags were pulled from a manhole in Deer Fin Park and were causing blockages and inconvenience to local residents.
“The rags consisted of baby/ face wipes, sanitary towels and kitchen paper; all of which are not designed to break down in water.
“We are literally fighting a daily battle to clear blocked sewers at a cost of over £2.5 million to NI Water every year.”
In addition to the ‘Dirty Dozen’ team, a new tanker and state of the art CCTV equipment has been purchased to deal with the issue.
However, NI Water is keen to enlist the help of the public in tackling the issue.
The company is asking the public to dispose of these items in the bin rather than down the sewer.
They say that together the ‘Dirty Dozen’ gang can be beaten and local sewers kept running freely.
To view the damage inappropriate items can do to a sewer, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/northernirelandwater.
A leaflet detailing the ‘Dirty Dozen’ items can be found at www.niwater.com