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A number of busy businesses in Lahinch recently availed of resources to help combat sewage related litter and wastewater system blockages in the seaside town.

The flushing of unsuitable items like wet wipes down the toilet, can have huge implications for our wastewater systems and can cause hurt and damage to our marine environment.

As part of the Think Before You Flush regional campaign, B&Bs, hotels, hostels, self-catering apartments and campsites in Lahinch are receiving information and resources about the Think Before You Flush campaign, which is a public awareness campaign operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Irish Water.

Elaine Doyle of Clean Coasts said that the aim of the campaign is to create positive behavioural change and raise awareness around sewage related litter. “We’re delighted to engage with hospitality businesses in Lahinch to remind people to ‘Think Before You Flush’ while visiting. We hope the businesses and community in Lahinch will join us in raising awareness by displaying these resources and help spread this important message.”

The campaign informed that synthetic materials in items like wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products makes them very strong and unable to break down. When these unsuitable items are flushed down the toilet, they can cause blockages in our wastewater network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. They can also end up on our beaches and in our oceans, damaging our marine environment.

Almost 2,000 blockages occur in the Irish wastewater network every month, 75 per cent of which are caused by wipes. Raising awareness of this issue, the campaign highlighted, reduces the number of blockages created by this behaviour, and local business’ engagement with the campaign will help to get this important message out to a wider audience.

As part of the regional campaign in Lahinch, the Think Before You Flush campaign are offering a range of information resources including posters, information leaflets, and infographics that can be displayed in your home, business, clubs or community space. Awareness events such as school days, business days, and community events are also taking place.

Speaking about the campaign, Margaret Attridge of Irish Water said that everyday people flush thousands of sanitary items such as wet wipes and cotton bud sticks down the toilet instead of simply putting them in the bin.

“This causes blockages in our network, pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants. These items can also end up on our beaches. We remove approximately 2,000 blockages from the sewer network and hundreds of tonnes of items like wipes and sanitary products from wastewater treatment plants around the country every month.”

Margaret would like to remind people to ‘Think Before You Flush’ and only flush the 3 Ps (pee, poo and paper) down the toilet. “We all have a role to play in safeguarding our environment and the wastewater network,” she concluded.

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