Encouraging visitors to the Fleadh Cheoil to ‘Think Before You Flush’

As Drogheda gets ready to welcome thousands of visitors for the Fleadh Cheoil next week, Irish Water, in partnership with An Taisce's Clean Coasts programme and Louth County Council, is encouraging locals and visitors to ‘Think Before You Flush’ and help safeguard Drogheda’s wastewater network and environment. In the months leading up to the Fleadh Cheoil, experts have been working with our partners in Louth County Council and the event organisers to ensure the water and wastewater infrastructure is in place to deal with the additional load and to safeguard the water supply.

As well as providing a reliable supply of water, all the wastewater must then be collected and treated before it can be returned safely to the environment.

Unsuitable items flushed down toilets can cause blockages

Local people and visitors can play their part too by thinking about what they flush down the toilet. Every day thousands of wet wipes, cotton wool buds, sanitary products and other unsuitable items are flushed down toilets in Ireland. This causes blockages in wastewater systems and sewer overflows leading to pollution and plastic litter on beaches and in the ocean. When the 3 Ps (pee, poo and paper) are flushed down the toilet they travel along the sewer network to wastewater treatment plants. However, every day people flush thousands of items such as wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, nappies and cotton wool pads down the toilet instead of putting them in a bin. Flushing these items can have a negative impact on internal plumbing in homes and businesses, the wastewater network and our marine environment.

Donal Heaney, Wastewater Operations Lead for Louth

“An event such as the Fleadh is dependent on having the necessary water and wastewater capacity in place to meet the big increase in demand on the network. We have been working closely with the organisers since last year to ensure that our network can meet their needs and we are pleased to be able to play our part in helping support this landmark event. We’re reminding all residents in and visitors to Drogheda for the fleadh to ‘Think Before You Flush’ and remember that items such as wipes, cotton buds, plasters and nappies cause serious problems in homes, sewers and the marine environment when flushed down the toilet.  The size and scale of the impact of flushing the wrong items is incredible, we remove over a hundred blockages from the sewer network across the country every week.”

“Irish Water is investing in wastewater infrastructure right across the country. We are building new wastewater treatment plants, upgrading old plants and laying new sewers. However, it is still really important that people recognise the impact of what they flush so the network can function efficiently and effectively. Placing a bin in the bathroom and disposing of wet wipes and other sanitary items appropriately has a hugely positive impact on the network and the environment.”

Phoebe Duvall, Clean Coasts Officer

“Sewage related litter is one of the categories of waste we find on our beaches, however it’s presence is preventable through some simple measures. Through the “think Before You Flush” campaign we are working with Irish Water to change the nation’s flushing behaviour which will make a difference to our coastal environment.”

The Think Before You Flush campaign is operated by An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme in partnership with Irish Water. For more information visit www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org.

Louth

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