October 28, 2020
News

Wicklow cooks urged not to be ‘a pain in the drain’ this Christmas

As we prepare for today’s Christmas Day feast, the people of Wicklow have been urged not to let their festive cooking become a pain in the drain.

Clean Coasts and Irish Water  have launched their ‘Think Before You Pour’ Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the damage caused by pouring fats, oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink.

Irish Water has confirmed it has cleared more than 6,000 sewer blockages across the country so far this year.

Fats, oils and greases (FOGs) may seem like liquid when poured but once they reach the pipes they cool and can cause blockages in the sewer pipes (inset) in homes, businesses, the public sewer network, wastewater treatment plants and ultimately damage the environment.

When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form.

Speaking to WicklowNow.ie, Pat Ó Súilleabháin of SeaLife Aquarium Bray said: “We support the Christmas campaign of Clean Coasts and Irish Water.

“Life in our seas and oceans is already under constant attack from plastic pollution, agricultural run-offs and illegal dumping at sea not to mention the effects of climate change!

“So we would urge the people of Wicklow to share the Christmas spirit with their marine neighbours. A healthy marine environment is dependent on effective and efficient water treatment plants.

“This means that we need to avoid putting anything in our waste water system that treatment plants will struggle with: and fats, oils and grease are the enemy of clean seas and oceans.

“Local recycling centres can take used cooking oils; and grease and fat that is allowed to cool down can be disposed of as part of general refuse.”

There have been more than 8,000 sewer blockages in the public sewer network so far this year caused by FOGs being poured down the sink and wipes and other inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet.

Speaking about the campaign, Donal Heaney of Irish Water, said: “We have cleared almost 8,000 reported sewer blockages already this year caused by FOGs being poured down the kitchen sink combined with inappropriate items such as baby wipes being flushed down the toilet.

“Thousands of other blockages were removed in the course of planned works on the network. This demonstrates the size and scale of the challenge we face to keep the sewer network blockage free.

“Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin. ‘Think before you pour’ and use a GunkPot or a similar container to collect FOGs and help to prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment.”

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