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More wet wipes being flushed, causing chaos in sewerage system

Northern Ireland Water said the coronavirus crisis has seen an increase in the amount of wet wipes and kitchen roll being flushed down toilets.

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Coronavirus has seen a rise is the amount of wet wipes and kitchen towel flushed down toilets causing chaos in the sewers in Northern Ireland. (PA)

Coronavirus has seen a rise is the amount of wet wipes and kitchen towel flushed down toilets causing chaos in the sewers in Northern Ireland. (PA)

Coronavirus has seen a rise is the amount of wet wipes and kitchen towel flushed down toilets causing chaos in the sewers in Northern Ireland. (PA)

The coronavirus crisis has sparked a “dramatic” increase in blockages in the sewerage system with more people flushing wet wipes.

Northern Ireland Water has issued a reminder to the public to flush only toilet paper, as wet wipes and kitchen roll can cause blockages.

Angela Halpenny, head of environmental regulation, said there has been a dramatic rise in blockages caused by non-flushables.

We have noticed a dramatic increase in sewer blockages from customers flushing wet wipes. They are also damaging our...

Posted by Northern Ireland Water on Friday, March 27, 2020

“We are asking customers to please help us reduce sewer and pump blockages by not flushing wet wipes or kitchen roll,” she said.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in blockages over the last while, with some pumps at our treatment works becoming damaged.

“Fixing these pumps is an unnecessary drain on resources, meaning we are unable to treat wastewater as quickly as we would like to.

“It is absolutely right that people are taking extra precautions around hygiene at this time, however, if you use wipes, please put them in the bin, not down the loo.

“These items, along with cotton buds and sanitary products, can cause blockages in the sewer which are difficult to clear and can cause raw sewage to come back up and flood homes, businesses and the environment.”

PA