NI Water blames the public for blockages
NI Water has been fined £2,000 for polluting a major river, but blamed the public for blocking the pumps.
Untreated sewage flowed into the Six Mile River at Clotworthy Bridge in Antrim last May after a sewerage system became blocked.
On investigation, NI Water found that one of the pumps had been blocked at the Masserene Sewage Pumping Station with 'inappropriate items'.
The company says that such items, which include cotton buds, nappies, sanitary items, household wipes and condoms, regularly make their way through the sewerage system and block the pumps at their pumping stations.
A NI Water spokesperson said: "NI Water would ask for the publics' assistance in reducing pollution incidents by not placing inappropriate items in the toilet, down a drain or into the sewers.
"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."
NI Water pleaded guilty to causing the pollution incident and co-operated with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The company says it is investing it its water and wastewater services to reduce the possibility of blockages and pollution occurrences. Alison Brown