THE serious problem of blockages in the public drainage system caused by fats, oils and grease, which has been highlighted in Killarney on numerous occasions, is now being tackled at a national level.
Kerry County Council officials had previously acknowledged that the problem had increased significantly over the past 15 years, particularly in towns like Killarney because of the hospitality industry.
“Pubs, restaurants, hotels, takeaways and convenience stores can be the main source,” the council said.
The fats, oils and greases cause congealing problems when washed down the drains during food preparation or in the wash-up afterwards and it is accumulating and eventually blocking pipes.
“These fatbergs can result in flooding of premises, environmental pollution of rivers and streams and it can lead to excessive maintenance costs,” the council stressed.
The matter had been raised by Cllr Michael Gleeson who asked for a concerted effort to eliminate all fats and greases from the public sewage system in the town and all other sewers in the municipal area.
He expressed concern that there is a “huge number” of frying pans used in some places and the fats and oils are washed down the sinks, clogging up sewers and treatment plants.
Now high-profile chef Donal Skehan has been enlisted to spearhead a new campaign to encourage people to prevent fatbergs.
Think Before You Pour is a public awareness campaign, run by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water, to encourage members of the public to desist from pouring fats, oils and grease down the kitchen sink, as one in three people living in Ireland admit to doing.
Donal Skehan shares the most environmentally friendly ways to dispose the waste after cooking, such as pouring them into a reusable container, like an empty egg carton or yoghurt pot ,and then emptying into a food-waste bin.
Making small changes in the kitchens can prevent big problems in the wastewater systems and environment.
Although fats, oils and grease might seem like liquid when poured, once they cool along the wastewater pipes it can cause blockages in homes, the public wastewater network and at wastewater treatment plants. These blockages can lead to overflows of sewage that can damage the environment.
For more information go to http://thinkbeforeyoupour.org/