‘Think before you pour’: Limerick people asked not to let festive cooking go down drain

Alan Owens

Reporter:

LIMERICK people cooking Christmas dinner have been warned not to let festive oils go down the drain.

Clean Coasts and Irish Water have launched their “Think Before You Pour” Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the damage caused by pouring fats, oils and greases from the roast turkey Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink. 

It comes as Irish Water reports clearing more than 6,000 sewer blockages nationally so far this year.

While fats, oils and greases (FOGs) may seem like liquid when poured, once they reach the pipes they cool and can cause blockages in the sewer pipes in homes, businesses, the public sewer network, wastewater treatment plants and ultimately damage the environment. 

When FOGs combine with wipes and other sanitary items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, fatbergs can form.

There have been more than 6,000 sewer blockages in the public sewer network so far this year caused by FOGs being poured down the sink and wipes and other inappropriate items being flushed down the toilet.

“The size and scale of the task of keeping the sewer network flowing is substantial,” said Margaret Attridge, Regional Operations Manager, Irish Water.

“So far this year we have cleared more than 6,000 blockages from the sewer network across the country and many of these were avoidable. That’s why raising awareness of the issue through this Christmas campaign is so important.

“Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public that small changes in our kitchens can help. We’re asking public to “think before you pour” fats, oils and greases down the sink. It only takes an extra couple of seconds to safely dispose of products like fat by putting them in the bin.

Sinead McCoy of Clean Coasts said “fats, oils and grease can cause blockage in the wastewater treatment system that allow untreated water to impact our precious marine environment.

“Think Before You Pour is a simple campaign to tackle this issue fats, oil and grease cause when they are poured down the drain. This Christmas remember to Think, and instead of pouring fat from your turkey down the sink, pour your fats, oil and grease into a container, allow to cool, and throw them in the bin.”

Keeping a container in the kitchen, can be useful to collect cooled waste fats, oils and greases. When these items have hardened they can be disposed of in the bin. Running a hot water tap and using washing up liquid is not the solution as grease and hot water eventually cool down in pipes and can cause blockages homes, businesses and the sewer network.

To find out more about the Think Before You Pour campaign please visit http://thinkbeforeyouflush.org/think-before-you-pour.