11 April 2019 Go back to News
Public urged to Think Before You Pour
1,500 sewer blockages cleared already this year
With Easter coming up, Clean Coasts and Irish Water are reminding the public not to pour gravy or fats oils and greases (FOGs) from the Easter roast down the sink as Irish Water reveal that 1,500 sewer blockages have been cleared across the country already this year. That’s 125 blockages every single week.
85% of people in Ireland dispose of food items down kitchen sink
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. When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form. There have been almost 1,500 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.
A recent survey 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. The survey was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes for the Think Before You Pour Campaign and was based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults who were interviewed at the beginning of December 2018.
Free GunkPots to the first 500 people registered
In order to help tackle this problem Irish Water is offering free GunkPots to the first 500 people who register on our Think Before You Pour page. 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.
Tom Cuddy, Asset Operations
“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.”
Michael John O’Mahony, Director, An Taisce Environmental Education Unit
“The prevention of blockages in our waste water systems by FOGS is something that everybody can engage in. Think Before You Pour allows everyone to undertake small actions and changes that when combined can make huge impact on the operation of our waste water systems. I would encourage and remind everyone to think before you pour.”