20 December 2018 Go back to News
Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant operator Joe Grady asks the public to be mindful of what you dispose of through the sewer network
Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of the most complex in Ireland
"Wet wipes, nappies, children’s toys, drug needles, sanitary items, and believe it or not, fats, oils, and grease are all items that we currently find ending up at Monksland wastewater treatment plant.” commented Joe Grady, the Roscommon County Council Plant Operator at the Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Monksland Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of the most important pieces of Infrastructure in the region. It is the largest in Roscommon and is one of the most complex in the country. It treats the wastewater from all of the industries in Monksland and also from residents in the surrounding area. The wastewater from some of the biggest employers in the county, including Alexion, Alkermes, Aran Chemicals and Jazz Pharmaceutical, is catered for by this plant. Joe notes that “This treatment plant and its ongoing upgrades are vital to jobs in the area, not just in industry but also in the tourist sector, and it is essential to supporting local families. It is up to our team to ensure that the treatment plant is fully operational and fully compliant with all of the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.”
Ensuring wastewater is treated and returned safely to the environment
Joe, a native of Lecarrow and now living in Kiltoom in Athlone, has been working at the wastewater treatment plant in Monksland for 19 years this January. With the help of his colleague Austin and a wider group of engineers and scientists, it is his responsibility to ensure that the wastewater you flush and pour down your toilet and sink, is treated and returned safely to the environment.
Items like fats, oils and grease that people pour down their sinks cause Joe and his colleague the biggest problems. “In addition to the Monksland plant, we manage 13 pumping stations, two other smaller wastewater treatment plants and seven kilometres of network pipes. When people pour grease down their sink it solidifies, damages our pumps and causes blockages that we must respond to immediately. Our team cannot ask industry to stop producing waste, or for people to stop flushing toilets and using their sinks, but we ask people to please be mindful of what they dispose of through the sewer network.”
Think Before You Pour
As the holiday season is upon us, Irish Water and Roscommon County Council are asking for the public’s help. Our message is simple - this Christmas we want to remind the public that small changes in our kitchens can help. We’re asking the you to “think before you pour” fats, oils and greases down the sink. It only takes an extra couple of seconds to safely dispose of products like fat by putting them in the refuse bin.