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Sligo residents and businesses asked to ‘Think Before You Pour’ when disposing of Fats, Oils and Grease

23 November 2023

Uisce Éireann is appealing to residents and businesses in Co Sligo to correctly dispose of fats, oils and grease (FOGs) and any business waste in a responsible manner as wastewater treatment plants fall foul of inappropriate flushing and pouring behaviour. 

Uisce Éireann has confirmed that pouring fats, oils or grease down the sink is causing blockages at wastewater treatment plants in Sligo and sewers right across the country with approximately 200 call outs a week. 

Speaking about the issue, Uisce Éireann’s Operations Lead, Kevin Love said: 

Uisce Éireann is committed to safeguarding the local environment and returning wastewater safely to the environment. In Sligo, we have invested heavily in improved wastewater treatment in a number of communities, including Grange, Strandhill, Ballinafad, Ballymote, Collooney and Tubbercurry, valued at €26 million. In 2022, works commenced on Rosses Point Sewerage Scheme valued at €9 million and this project is due for completion in the coming months.”

Kevin continued: “During the last few weeks however, we have started to experience a significant strain on the wastewater infrastructure in Sligo due to large volumes of trade effluent and fats, oils and grease being disposed of incorrectly into our networks. Most recently Ballymote Wastewater Treatment Plant was impacted by large volumes of this material entering the wastewater network, resulting in significant operational difficulties. We also had similar issues across the country which has proved both challenging and costly to avoid the plants having to discharge partially treated effluent into the environment." 

We are asking everyone, residents and business alike in Sligo, to be very conscious of the impact inappropriate disposal of fats, oils and grease can have on wastewater networks and treatment plants. We urge the public to continue to ‘Think Before You Pour’ and dispose of trade effluent and other products correctly." 

Uisce Éireann 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 both businesses and the wider public don’t discharge trade effluent inappropriately and are aware of the impact of what they dispose of, so the network can function efficiently and effectively and protect the environment.”

Uisce Éireann is committed to keeping customers informed about their water and wastewater supplies across multiple platforms 24/7 and we encourage customers to engage with us on X (formerly Twitter) @IWCare and @IrishWater, on Facebook and LinkedIn, through our customer care helpline which is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and by setting their location on our website.