NI Water has been fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to causing a pollution incident from Masserene Sewage Pumping Station (SPS) in the vicinity of Clotworthy Bridge, Antrim on May 3rd 2010. The incident was linked to a blockage caused by inappropriate items that resulted in a discharge into a nearby watercourse.
NI Water has asked for the publics’ assistance in reducing pollution incidents by not placing inappropriate items in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers. “Inappropriate items include cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items, household wipes and condoms which regularly make their way through the sewerage system and block the pumps at our Pumping Stations. This can cause harm to property, wildlife and the environment,” explains a spokesperson for NI Water. “Whilst NI Water has a responsibility for the sewerage system, everyone in Northern Ireland can help reduce pollution incidents. The advice is simple, only toilet roll and human waste should be flushed down the toilet, for everything else – bag it and bin it, don’t flush it.”
Throughout the process, NI Water cooperated fully with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. NI Water is working to reduce these occurrences by investing in water and wastewater services to bring them up to an acceptable standard and is pleased to announce that a new, replacement SPS became operational in September 2010. With completion of investment programmes such as this, NI Water is confident that pollution incidents will become less common.