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Don't pour fats and oils from your Christmas turkey down sink due to fatberg risk, campaign urges

Irish Water said that thousands of fatbergs are cleared from the wastewater network each year.
Dec 17th 2019, 6:16 AM 17,802 31

A NEW INITIATIVE from Clean Coasts and Irish Water is urging people to “think before you pour” this Christmas, as fats, oils and greases from Christmas turkeys can help to increase the risk of fatbergs developing in sewers if they’re poured down our sinks.

While these fats, oils and greases can seem like liquid when poured out, they cool along the pipes and can blockages in homes, businesses and the public sewer network, the groups said.

When they combine with wipes and other sanitary items that are flushed down toilets – but shouldn’t be – they can form fatbergs.

Irish Water said that thousands of fatbergs are cleared from the wastewater network each year. 

A survey the company said was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of the “think before you pour” campaign suggested that 58% of people do pour the likes of turkey fat, gravy and other sauces down their sinks. 

Fatberg Dublin 1 A fatberg located in a Dublin sewer. Source: Irish Water

Irish Water’s Tom Cuddy said: “We have cleared almost 8,000 reported sewer blockages already this year caused by fats, oils and greases being poured down the kitchen sink combined with inappropriate items such as baby wipes being flushed down the toilet.

Our message is simple. This Christmas we want to remind the public not to use their kitchen sink as a bin. ‘Think before you pour’ and use a GunkPot or a similar container to collect FOGs and help to prevent pipe blockages and protect the marine environment.

These gunk pots can be used to collect cooled waste fats, oils and greases. When the items have hardened, they can then be put in the bin. Irish Water said it’s giving away gunk pots to the first 500 people who apply here

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Sean Murray

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