Litterbugs don’t give a scoot about waste

03 February 2021

Irish Water and Cork County Council crews were given the run around last weekend trying to figure out what was causing a blockage in the wastewater network in Cobh. The incident proved to be more than child’s play however as the unusual blockage found in the sewer network turned out to be a Spider-Man scooter.

Cork County Council’s wastewater team, working in partnership with Irish Water, were notified of a blockage in the network at Marine Gates, Carrignafoy, last Friday, 29 January. The crew was unable to clear the tangled blockage on Friday but eventually cleared it on Saturday morning, finding and removing the child’s scooter which was causing the obstruction from a deep manhole downstream.

Speaking about the incident, Irish Water Wastewater Regional Lead, Pat Britton said,

These incidents are a huge inconvenience and the size and scale of the challenge we face nationally in this area is well documented. These types of items can cause significant damage to the network and treatment plants. Between the City and County Council areas last year, we spent over €984,000 in 2020 on jetting and clearing blockages to keep the network flowing. This was largely due to the fact that people discard items negligently. Blockages like this can also cause raw sewage to overflow onto footpaths, roads and waterways.

A scooter may be an unusual item to find in a sewer but every month we clear dozens of blockages caused by more common household items like wet wipes, cotton wool buds and even nappies which can do just as must damage. We would appeal to the public to consider how they dispose of their waste and to think before they flush.

There is more information available on the Think Before You Flush section of our website.