Pictures reveal severe blockages caused by wet wipes in treatment plants

Irish Water is reminding Limerick people to think about what they flush down the loo after pictures revealed severe blockages caused by wet wipes in treatment plants across the county.

Unlike toilet paper, wipes do not break down when flushed down the toilet. Instead they can clump together to form blockages in sewer pipes and in wastewater treatment systems. This can cause sewer overflows in our towns and villages and pollution in our waterways and beaches.

In recent weeks blockages cause by wipes and other materials have been cleared from treatment systems in Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Askeaton, Rathkeale, Croagh and Dromcollogher. However this is a problem that is experienced right across the city and county, with hundreds of such blockages having to be cleared every week from Ireland’s wastewater network.

Dispose of wipes correctly

Anna Brosnan, Irish Water’s Wastewater Operations Lead for Limerick explains “We know that people are using more wipes than ever to keep hands and surfaces clean and prevent the spread of Covid 19. While it is important we all follow the HSE guidelines on handwashing and coughing etiquette we are reminding people to dispose of wipes correctly.

“By making sure wipes are put in the bin and not in the toilet, everyone can do their bit to prevent sewer blockages and help keep our waters safe, clean and healthy. It is really important that the public help us to manage the network at this time by simply binning all wipes, gloves and masks and to only ever flush the 3 Ps (pee, poo and paper).”

Think Before You Flush

The Think Before You Flush campaign is operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water. Our message is simple, only the 3 Ps - pee, poo and paper - should be flushed down the toilet. All other waste, such as wipes and kitchen roll, should go in the bin to avoid it becoming marine litter, or blockages in our home and wastewater network.

More information

To find out more about the Think Before You Flush campaign please visit the Think Before You Flush campaign website.


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