Keep your drains clean: don’t block the sewage system

Sewer damage can be prevented - WSC

The overflowing sewage at Xatt l-Aħmar.

The overflowing sewage at Xatt l-Aħmar.

Sewer damage could not be prevented or pre-empted other than by informing the public of what could be discharged in the system, Water Services Corporation chairman Richard Bilocca said on Thursday.

He was speaking after multiple reports of overflowing sewage at Xatt l-Aħmar. Sewage problems have dogged the popular diving spot and nearby Ras il-Ħobż for years.

Reports of sewage leaks in the area date as far back as 2002.

“We have long been reporting to the authorities about this failure but to no avail. The stomach-churning overflow is becoming the norm,” a resident had told Times of Malta.

Mr Bilocca said households and industries are persisting in dumping material that damaged the sewage system, adding that the WSC was “very disappointed” with the recent incidents.

There will be blockages and when you realise it’ll be too late

“It is designed for domestic waste but, unfortunately, both households and industries dump things that should never be in the sewer. There will be blockages and when you realise it’ll be too late,” he said.

Mr Bilocca insisted the damage in the area was not caused by faults in the nearby sewage treatment plant, where underwater discharges had been reported since at least 2013.

The damage at Xatt l-Aħmar came about “naturally”, he said, adding that workers were on site “within minutes” to make the necessary repairs.

“The most important thing is prevention and we need the public to help,” he added.

People also needed to report any blockages to the WSC without delays.

“We’d rather get on site for no reason than get there when it is too late. They need to alert our call centre or the website immediately,” Mr Bilocca said.

The WSC had a deep sewer team that was constantly doing maintenance work, he noted.

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