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Darkley stink: NI Water tell residents ‘you could have avoided this’

Darkley sewage

An overwhelmingly stench of raw sewage could have been avoided by residents in Darkley, a spokesperson for NI Water has confirmed.

Heavy rain brought flooding to the rural Co Armagh village on Monday, which in turn left drainage flooding and ultimately led to the seeping out of raw, untreated sewage.

Residents had kicked up a stink because of the foul odour emanating from below their feet, however, NI Water said those same people could help avoid a situation like the one two days ago.

“NI Water attended to out of sewer flooding in Darkley, Armagh, on Tuesday, December 18,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

“Upon inspection, it was very clear that this blockage and subsequent overflow was as a result of inappropriate items such as wipes and sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.

“Staff cleared the blockage and carried out a clean-up of the area, however, it is important to note that this situation was avoidable.

“The community and residents in the area can help us help them, by keeping the sewers flowing and only flushing the 3 p’s, pee, poo and paper. Everything else needs to go in the bin, that includes all wipes, even those that say flushable.

“In the last ten years, NI Water has spent over £1.5 billion investing in water and wastewater infrastructure but no amount of investment will completely stop blocked pipes if people continue to flush wipes (including flushable), sanitary items and cotton buds down the toilet.

“According to research carried out by Water UK, 93% of the material causing sewer blockages was made up of wipes – including a high proportion of baby wipes – which are not designed to be flushed.

“Less than 1% of the domestic waste in the blockages was identified as made up of products which are designed to be flushed, such as toilet paper.

“Customer awareness is the only real way to address sewer misuse; it’s simple really, don’t flush anything other than paper, poo and pee and keep wastewater ‘Flo-ing’ through your home and our network.

“Visit www.niwater.com to view the video and meet ‘Flo’ on her journey into the sewers.”

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