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Sewage salad has NI Water miffed

Northern Ireland Water is urging people not to flush food waste down the sink after flurry of potatoes and carrots clog waterworks

Sewage salad has NI Water miffed

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Northern Ireland Water is “a-peeling” to households not to throw leftover potatoes and carrots down the sink this Easter after a slimy crop of root veg clogged up its waterworks.

The utilities company released an image showing hundreds of whole carrots and potatoes that suddenly washed up at Wastewater Treatment Works in L/Derry.

Davy McCullough, head of wastewater at NI Water said it was a “strange occasion” to see the popular veg appear in such large numbers at the treatment facility.

McCullough suspected that industrial sized sinks for food waste, or someone opening a manhole to throw the veg away may have played a part in forming the giant sewage salad.

“Easter is a popular time for friends and families to get together, often to enjoy a roast dinner. While the meal may be planned with meticulous detail, little attention is paid to what we put down the sink or in this case, dumped down the sewers,” McCullough said.

“When fat, oil and grease (FOG) solidifies in the sewers it prevents wastewater flowing through the pipe, and often causes a blockage. The same goes for other inappropriate items such as wipes, sanitary products and on this strange occasion, potatoes and carrots! 

“NI Water would remind all customers that opening a manhole and putting anything down it is prohibited. By doing this, you are obstructing a working sewer which is designed to take waste away from homes. Incidents like this cause out of sewer flooding and require valuable time and resources to resolve. Some businesses may also be using industrial sinks to dispose of food waste.”

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