NI Water address raw sewage problem

Residents felt they were left with no choice but to clean-up raw sewage in Benvarden Avenue. This photo shows the road outside houses after the clean-up.
Residents felt they were left with no choice but to clean-up raw sewage in Benvarden Avenue. This photo shows the road outside houses after the clean-up.

In a bid to tackle the issue of raw sewage the organisation responsible for sewer maintenance in the North has told the ‘Journal’ it plans to install an additional manhole in the Benvarden Avenue area of the Waterside.

The ‘Journal’ published a story on Friday June 19 about Benvarden Avenue residents claiming they had to clean their street up after raw sewage was found flowing close to homes.

The organisation responsible, NI Water, told the ‘Journal’ the most likely cause of the problem was silt which subsequently caused the sewers to block and for the raw sewage to overflow on to the street.

“NI Water can confirm it attended Benvarden Avenue following reports from residents of a blocked sewer,” said an NI Water spokesperson.

“Contractors cleared the blockage to stop the spill from the road gully and carried out a clean-up operation. NI Water has identified a need to install manholes in the area to enable future access to the sewer. One manhole has already been installed in Benvarden Avenue, with a second planned for the junction of Chapel Road and Benvarden Avenue.”

The NI Water spokesperson went on to say that the installation of the new manhole is dependent on permission being granted by TransportNI.

“NI Water will progress this work once the relevant permission has been granted from Transport NI. It is hoped the work will be undertaken at night to cause minimum disruption to road users.

“NI Water can assure the residents of Benvarden Avenue we are progressing this work as quickly as possible. The new manholes will enable NI Water to carry out a further desilting and clearing operation in the area. The work undertaken at Primrose Street was unrelated and had no impact on the sewer network in Benvarden Avenue.”

The spokesperson urged residents in the area to take care by keeping the sewar system free of items that might cause problems.

“While the likely primary cause of the blockage was silt, everyone can help keep sewers running clear by not flushing wipes, sanitary items and cotton wool down the toilet. People genuinely don’t realise the harm they are doing and the damage that can be caused further down the sewer. These items can ball together to create a blockage, often causing sewage spills onto the street or nearby gardens.

“NI Water would encourage residents to report any further incidents of out of sewer flooding immediately to NI Water’s Waterline number.”

Contact NI Water by telephone the NI Water Waterline on 08457 440088.