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Grease from restaurants blamed for blocking Belmullet sewer


SLIMEY PROBLEM A pipe clogged with fat and grease.

Anton McNulty

Deposits of grease and fat from restaurants is being blamed for blocking sewer pipes in Belmullet resulting in sewerage overflowing on to the street.
Over the weekend there were reports of raw sewerage and waste leaking from the manholes onto the street in the centre of Belmullet. The issue was raised at yesterday’s (Monday) monthly meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District by Erris-based councillor Gerry Coyle who said he was told that grease was being blamed for blocking the sewers.
“The last week the actual sewer has been overflowing and it has been coming out on the road. There was people down there at the weekend looking at it and it seems that there is grease getting trapped in something. I was wondering what is happening with it,” he asked.
Kieran Lynn, Executive Engineer with Mayo County Council confirmed that there was a problem with grease traps blocking sewers.
“There is a issue with all the difficulties with grease traps from restaurants etc... and that is an ongoing problem which needs monitoring,” he said.
The €9 million Belmullet Sewerage Scheme was officially opened by Minister Michael Ring last November and news that raw sewerage was overflowing onto the street was not welcomed.
Cllr Coyle said he spoke to engineers from the contractor for the scheme who assured him that the problem over the weekend was nothing to do with the new part of the scheme and the problem was to do with old piping. Cllr Coyle called for a report on the problem to ensure whatever is causing the sewer to overflow is fixed.
The problem of masses of grease and fat from restaurants blocking sewers has become a major issue in major cities with a ‘fatberg’ weighing the same as eleven double decker buses and stretching the length of two football pitches blocking a section of London’s aging sewer network.