Irish Water appeals to public not to flush wipes down the toilet 

The call to action is being made as part of the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign, operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water.
Irish Water appeals to public not to flush wipes down the toilet 

This Halloween Clean Coasts and Irish Water are reminding people to never flush wet wipes down the toilet as 'they might come back to haunt you'. Pictured is a fatberg in a sewer. Image: Irish Water

Irish Water has appealed to people in Cork to stop flushing wipes down the toilet.

The call to action is being made as part of the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign, operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water.

The utility says that by not flushing wipes down the toilet, people can help combat “frightening fatbergs, wastewater blockages and scary sewage related litter on our beaches this Halloween” 

Speaking about the campaign, Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager, Clean Coasts said: “This Halloween we are urging the public to always Think Before You Flush and throw any wipes used for removing scary makeup in the bin to avoid frightening fatbergs! The Think Before You Flush campaign aims to increase education and awareness about sewage-related litter, enabling people to realise the consequence of their simple bathroom routine, and letting them know that small changes can prevent items like cotton bud sticks and wet wipes washing up on Ireland’s spectacular beaches.” 

Talking about the size and scale of the problem associated with flushing the wrong things down the toilet, Tom Cuddy, Irish Water said: “In 2021 we found out that 1 in 4 people living in Ireland were still regularly flushing the wrong things down the toilet - that’s almost a million people. The impacts of flushing the wrong things down the toilet are very real in our day to day lives, as we are still removing thousands of sewer blockages from our network every month."

Pictured is a fatberg in a sewer. Image: Irish Water
Pictured is a fatberg in a sewer. Image: Irish Water

He added: “Removing blockages can be a nasty job; sometimes workers have to enter sewers to remove blockages with shovels. Some blockages can be removed with jetting and suction equipment. I’ve seen pump blockages that workers have had to literally clear by hand in order to get the pumps up and running again in a race against time to avoid sewage overflows to the environment, onto local beaches or into rivers and streams.”

Sharing a new Halloween video as part of the campaign, Irish Water said its message is simple.

“Only the 3 Ps, pee, poo and paper should be flushed down the toilet. All other items including wet wipes and other sanitary products should go in the bin even if they are labelled as flushable. We all have a role to play in protecting our beaches, seas and marine life. A small change in our flushing behaviour can make a big difference - put wipes, dental floss and even hair in the bin and not down the toilet to help us avoid frightening blockages this Halloween.”

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