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Belmullet asked to think before it flushes


PILOTBelmullet is one of 15 towns and cities in Ireland chosen for the Think Before You Flush initiaive.  Pic: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

Anton McNulty

Belmullet has been chosen to take part in a campaign to highlight the negative impact of flushing ‘inappropriate items’ down the toilet.
The Erris capital has been chosen along with 14 other towns and cities around Ireland as a Think Before You Flush community. An estimated 4,600 sewer blockages have occurred across the country this year due to inappropriate items such as wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, nappies and cotton wool pads being flushed down the toilet instead of putting them in a bin.
Sewage related litter is one of the categories of waste found on beaches and the Think Before You Flush campaign run by Clean Coasts together with Irish Water aims to prevent this.
Sinéad Mc Coy, Clean Coasts Manager, said the presence of this waste is preventable through some simple measures.
“Through this campaign we are working with Irish Water to change the nation’s flushing behaviour which will make a difference to our coastal environment.” she said.
The two groups will be delivering educational workshops in schools, promoting the campaign at festivals and community events and working with businesses in the chosen communities.
Speaking about the campaign, Siobhan Sheil of Irish Water, said: “Irish Water is delighted to partner with Clean Coasts on this important educational campaign. We estimate that there has been over 4,600 sewer blockages across the country this year already. The 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. It is also 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,” she said. Ms Shiel added that the new €9 million wastewater treatment plant in Belmullet now caters for over 1,000 local people and visitors to the area, and will greatly enhance and protect the tourism industry in the coastal town.
For more information about ‘Think Before You Flush’ please visit www.thinkbeforyouflush.org.