Irish Water and Cork City Council responded to an emergency overflow from the public wastewater network at Grand Parade last week. On investigation, the emergency overflow was found to have been caused by a blockage in the sewer network, otherwise known as a ‘fat berg’.

When fats, oils and grease (FOGs) are hot and in liquid form, they pour easily down the kitchen sink. However, when they cool they form solid masses, commonly referred to as fat bergs, which can cause serious pipe blockages and sewer flooding, resulting in property damage and harm to the environment. The fat berg was subsequently removed using a jet vacuum.

There have been other operational issues caused by fat bergs in sewers in this area in recent times. Preventative measures are already underway, including a programme of sewer jetting and cleaning on Grand Parade and Washington Street. It is hoped that jetting will clear the sewer network of fat bergs and alleviate the problem. The sewer jetting and cleaning programme will continue until the end of August.

We wish to apologise for this occurrence and assure the public that we are working to improve the operation of the sewer network in the area at this time. We would appeal to businesses and the wider community in Cork City to assist our operational teams in their work and ‘Think Before You Pour’ (TBYP) fats, oils and greases into the drains of homes and businesses.

A ‘Think Before You Pour’ campaign operated by An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme is run in partnership with Irish Water. For those interested in finding out more, there is additional information on our website at
Irish Water is working at this time, with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services.

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