Belfast Telegraph

Newry drain blocked by fat takes five hours to clear

By Staff Reporter

A huge lump of solidified fat blocked drains at a Newry shopping centre to such an extent that it took a work crew five hours to clear it.

NI Water is publicising the incident at Buttercrane Shopping Centre in Newry to highlight the problems caused when fats, oil and grease are poured down drains. Wastewater area manager Jim McElrath said: "Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG), when poured down the drain, solidify and can cause serious blockages.

"Mix that with the usual rubbish we find down there such as baby wipes and sanitary items and you have a recipe for disaster. Blockages such as these often result in out of sewer flooding.

"Even when hot water or soap is poured down the sink, the fat, oil and grease will still harden."

NI Water is appealing to the public to dispose of FOG appropriately by letting it cool and scraping it into a bin or by pouring it into a disposable container.

In the last two years, NI Water has spent over £5m clearing blockages from the sewer system.

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