Lahinch gets ready to welcome thousands of visitors for the Irish Open this weekend

As Lahinch gets ready to welcome thousands of visitors for the Irish Open this weekend Irish Water, in partnership with An Taisce's Clean Coasts and Clare County Council, is encouraging locals and visitors alike to ‘Think Before You Flush’ and help protect West Clare’s precious marine environment.

It is estimated that the event will generate additional water demand of about 100 cubic metres per day – enough to make more than 1.2 million cups of tea over the course of the weekend.

Working to ensure infrastructure is in place to handle additional load

In the months leading up to the Irish Open, our experts have been working with our partners in Clare County Council and the event organisers to ensure the water and wastewater infrastructure is in place to handle this 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 cause blockages

Local people and visitors can play their part too by thinking about what they put down the drain and toilets. 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.

Maurice Hourigan, Irish Water’s Operations Lead for Clare

“An event such as the Irish Open 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."

“In addition to making provision for the additional wastewater load, over 2km of old water mains have been replaced over recent months in Ennistymon, Liscannor and Doonbeg. This will ensure a more robust, secure and reliable water supply in the area now and for many years to come."

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone in the area – locals and visitors alike – that they can play their part in protecting against sewer overflows and marine litter by thinking about what they put down their toilets and drains. Items such as wipes, cotton wool buds, plasters and nappies cause serious problems in homes, sewers and the marine environment. For example a plastic cotton bud stick can take 150 years to break down in the sea. Making some simple changes, like putting these items in the bin instead of flushing them, can make a huge difference to our environment now and into the future.”

More information

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


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