independent

Thursday 17 October 2019

Flushed items lead to major blockage

Three blockages cleared in one day at Bollarney pumping station

Irish Water remove the 8ft blockage from the Bollarney Wastewater Pumping Station near Wicklow town.
Irish Water remove the 8ft blockage from the Bollarney Wastewater Pumping Station near Wicklow town.

Myles Buchanan

Residents of Wicklow town are being urged to 'Think before you flush' after an eight foot long blockage was removed from the Bollarney Wastewater Pumping Station.

The blockage was caused by inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet and was cleared by Wicklow County Council staff working on behalf of Irish Water. It was the third blockage experienced at the station all on the one day.

The blockage was made up of wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, nappies and cotton wool pads which were flushed down the toilet rather than being placed in a bin.

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. 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.'

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.

The contents of flushed toilets 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.

Bray People

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