Irish Water urge Irish public to help prevent the creation of ‘fatbergs’ 6 months ago

Irish Water urge Irish public to help prevent the creation of ‘fatbergs’

They’re exactly as disgusting as they sound.

Irish Water have issued a reminder to the Irish public to avoid pouring gravy, fats, oils and greases down sinks to help prevent sewer blockages across the country.

1,500 sewer blockages have been cleared across the country already in 2019, which works out at 125 blockages every week, a statistic which isn’t helped by the fact that 85% of Irish people dispose of food items down the kitchen sink.

According to Irish Water, when FOGs (fats, oils and greases) are combined with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, ‘fatbergs’ can form.

FOGs, as well as gravy, may seem like liquid when poured, but once they reach the pipes they cool and can cause blockages in the sewer pipes in homes, businesses, the public sewer network, wastewater treatment plants and ultimately damage the environment.

A recent survey, conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes for the Think Before You Pour Campaign, revealed that 85% of people living in Ireland dispose of food items down the kitchen sink.

The survey revealed that the kitchen sink is often treated as a bin for the disposal of melted fats, oils and greases, gravy and other sauces, milk, leftover food, smoothies, ground coffee, mayonnaise, salad dressing, ice-cream and scrapings from plates.

In order to help tackle the problem, Irish Water is offering free ‘GunkPots’ to the first 500 people who register on their Think Before You Pour page (more details are available here).

A GunkPot is a reusable silicone container used to collect cooled cooking fats, oils and grease from roasting trays, pans and plates. Once hardened, the contents can be thrown into the correct bin and the GunkPot wiped clean, ready for reuse. A container, such as an empty egg carton or yogurt pot, can also be used to help prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment.

Commenting on the campaign, Tom Cuddy, Asset Operations with Irish Water, said: “We have cleared almost 1,500 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.

“This demonstrates the size and scale of the challenge we face to keep the sewer network blockage free. Our message is simple. This Easter 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.”

Clip via Irish Water Uisce Eireann