Fatbergs putting ‘significant strain’ on Buncrana’s wastewater

LARGE volumes of fats, oils and incorrectly flushed items are pushing Buncrana’s wastewater infrastructure towards crisis point.

Irish Water has revealed that the disposal of unsuitable items down the toilet in the Inishowen town is resulting in “significant operational difficulties” for its staff and the local wastewater plant.

The utility’s Tom Cuddy said, ‘“Our operational staff in Buncrana have started to experience a significant strain on the wastewater infrastructure due to large volumes of fats oils and greases, wipes and associated sanitary waste being disposed of incorrectly into our network.”


In response to the growing pressure, Irish Water has initiated a new campaign aimed at encouraging locals to ‘Think Before You Flush’.

Bed and breakfasts, hotels, gyms, cafés, restaurants and other businesses have already been contacted about the drive.

Think Before You Flush addresses the issue of flushing unsuitable items down the toilet.

It also highlights the consequences of doing so, such as blockages in the wastewater network and treatment plants, surface water overflows and sewage-related litter impacting rivers, beaches and oceans.

Among the ‘Dirty Dozen’ – the top 12 items incorrectly flushed away – are wipes, cotton pads and dental floss.

Others include hair, paper towels, medicine, tampons, food, contact lenses, contraceptives, cigarette butts and cotton buds.

Mr Cuddy added: “We are asking everyone living and visiting Buncrana to be very conscious of the impact their flushing and pouring behaviour can have on their wastewater networks and treatment plants and would ask that they dispose of fats, oils and greases and other products such as wipes and sanitary waste correctly.”


Working with Irish Water is the local branch of Clean Coasts.

Coastal Communities Manager Sinead McCoy said: “We hope the business and community in Buncrana will join us in raising awareness by displaying these resources and help spread this important message.

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