Attacks on NI Water staff and property in recent days have been condemned by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon as “reckless and wasting precious resources”.
A staff member was attacked with a firework in the Etna Drive area of north Belfast, while £20,000 worth of damage has been caused by an arson attack on a sewage pumping station in Enniskillen.
NI Water were investigating a problem when the attack on staff happened.
Davy McCullough, from the company, said: “While there, they were met with verbal abuse and attacked with a firework. This attack on our employees is appalling and cannot be tolerated.
“The staff member in question had to leave the area, shaken and with impaired hearing caused by the noise of the firework.
“Had the firework been any closer to him, he could have been facing a physical injury.”
Mr McCullough added: “NI Water staff will only return when an appropriate risk assessment is completed and, more importantly, when the team and contractors feel it is safe for them to undertake the work.”
Wishing the staff member a speedy recovery, Ms Mallon said: “This is an attack on the very people that are on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19.
“When handwashing is more important than ever, NI Water staff, contractors and facilities are critical in keeping the taps running and delivering one of the most essential services we have.
“These attacks are reckless and dangerous, wasting precious money and resources, and they must stop.”