What really lurks beneath our homes? The answer, what doesn’t!
Northern Ireland Water has launched two new ‘horror’ videos to show customers exactly what is lurking underneath their homes in the sewer pipes.
The aim of the video is to make everyone more aware of the reality of what could happen to their home if they flush inappropriate items such as wipes and sanitary items and pour fat, oil and grease down the sink.
Des Nevin, Head of Networks Sewage at NI Water said: “NI Water constantly finds inappropriate items dumped down the sewer. Items vary from nappies, wipes, sanitary products and cotton buds which wash into pumping stations and block sewers.
“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 when they flush inappropriate items. It is only when faced with blocked drains, as seen in the videos, and out of sewer flooding, that they realise those ‘harmless baby wipes’ do in fact create chaos!
“The same is true for people pouring fat, oil and grease down the sink. When fat, oil and grease solidifies in the sewers it prevents wastewater flowing through the pipe, and often causes a blockage.
“Fat, oil and grease in its liquid form may not look harmful, but once in the drains, it is. Even when hot water or soap is poured down the sink, the fat, oil and grease will still harden. Detergents and bleach may also appear to work, but this is only temporary.
“Each year we spend valuable resources fixing avoidable problems and would appeal to our customers to watch these new videos and avoid this happening to their homes.
"To help the system work properly, we need to use it responsibly. Whilst NI Water has a responsibility for the sewerage system, everyone in Northern Ireland has a duty to dispose of their waste appropriately."
One way to dispose of fat, oil and grease is to let it cool and solidify, and then scrape it into the rubbish bin, or alternatively it can be poured into a suitable container and taken to a Council Recycling Centre. Plates, pots, trays and utensils should be scraped and dry wiped before washing.
For additional information on disposing of fat, oil and grease and a booklet specifically for catering outlets click here.