Wicklow residents urged to ‘Think Before You Flush’ as massive 8ft sewage blockage cleared


Irish Water have urged residents in Wicklow to ‘Think Before You Flush’, after a massive sewage blockage was cleared from the Bollarney Wastewater Pumping Station, Wicklow, over the weekend by Wicklow County Council staff, working on behalf of Irish Water. This was the third blockage in one day at the station. The blockage occurred as a result of inappropriate items, such as wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, nappies and cotton wool pads, being flushed down the toilet instead of being put in the bin. Last year, Irish Water cleared more than 6,000 sewer blockages around the country which were caused by inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet.

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.

Think before you flush

Speaking about the blockages, Annabel Fitzgerald, Irish Water said, “We’re urging all residents in Wicklow to ‘Think Before You Flush’, and to be mindful of the significant negative impact flushing inappropriate items can have on homes, businesses, the wastewater network, and the marine environment. Last year, there were more than 6,000 sewer blockages across the country. The size and scale of the impact of flushing the wrong items down the toilet is incredible.”

“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 sanitary items safely and appropriately has a hugely positive impact on the network and the environment.”

More information

Irish Water are working in partnership with Clean Coasts to deliver the Think Before You Flush campaign. To find out more about the campaign please visit our Think Before You Flush page.


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