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Sewage overflow caused by blocked manhole

THE overflow of sewage in the Fountain Street area last week was due to a manhole blocked by tar and gravel, NI Water has said.

Reported as early as Wednesday of last week, the eruption of waste resulted in raw sewage flowing down the street and included sanitary wear and toilet roll.

This week the water authority confirmed it had cleared the blockage and also cleansed the surrounding area.

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“It had been ongoing all of last week,” Sinn Féin councillor, Karina Carlin said. “The drains were backed up and sewage was flowing freely down the street.

“Our office reported it a number of times.

“We were told it could have been an overflow due to the heavy rain and just a one-off.”

However on Tuesday, following a second site visit, NI Water confirmed how the blockage had been caused.

“NI Water contractors attended and cleared a blockage in the main sewer in Fountain Street, Strabane on Monday December 15,” a spokesperson explained. “The blockage was caused by a manhole that had been stuffed with gravel and tar. NI Water contractors cleared the blockage and cleaned the surrounding area.

“No defects were found on NI Water’s network. NI Water contractors inspected the manhole again today, (Tuesday).

“The sewer is flowing freely and free from any obstruction.”

They added, “While the cause of the blockage in this case was not inappropriate items, but gravel and tar, NI Water would like to remind customers of the dangers of putting anything other than pee, poo and paper down the toilet; everything else needs to go in the bin.”

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