Belfast Telegraph

Tomato crops flourishing down at sewage works

You'd expect to find tomatoes in your local supermarket and growing in greenhouses, but you'd probably be surprised to hear that they are also growing in sewage works.

NI Water has seen a surge in tomato plants popping up in treatment works across Northern Ireland and believe it or not, these plants thrive there.

NI Water’s Glenn Nixon, supervisor of Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works, explained: “Every summer, we see tomato plants growing among the rags and paper which are removed during the first stage of the treatment process at the waste water treatment works.

“As tomato seeds are not digested by the human body, they find their way through the sewage system, to the treatment works and when removed, sit amongst other dried sewage which acts as a fertiliser and enables them to grow into tomato plants.

“Some people may find this information hard to ‘digest’ but they needn't worry about us supplying the supermarkets any time soon as the plants either die of natural causes or are destroyed when the skips are removed from our sites.”

Tomato plants are not the only strange things NI Water finds lurking in its treatment works and down in the depths of sewers.

Items such as school bells, carpets, Christmas trees and even kittens have all been found.

NI Water is encouraging the public to adopt better flushing habits and it’s simple — anything other than toilet roll should go in the bin.

Belfast Telegraph

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