A quick fix to make a big difference

After writing a post about the ‘Dublin Urban Rivers LIFE project inspecting properties in the Gallops‘ I had a look at the plumbing outside of our extension and found that the pipes from the dishwasher and the washing machine were joining the downpipe from the gutters.

A few days later Paul and his crew were out in our neighbourhood and sure enough, when they inspected our house, the dishwasher and washing machine pipe was feeding into the surface water drain.

Like many people, I try my best to be environmentally friendly, so the knowledge that we were polluting the local rivers was quite shocking and I’m sure nobody likes to hear this kind of news.

Nevertheless, this is a chance to rectify things. We can’t change the past but can certainly change things now for the better.

I called the builder who initially built the extension and asked him to come out next time he’s in the area. A few days later he came by, inspected the pipes and told me that the top one was actually the overflow from the boiler, so there was no need to move that one. The bottom one is the outlet of our washing machine, sink and dishwasher, he literally just removed it without any tools and moved it to the correct drain – 2 minutes and job done! I could have done that myself, but it was good that he was out as I didn’t know the difference between the two pipes.

It was an incredibly easy fix which will make a great difference to wildlife in and around Carrickmines River.

I actually think it was the plumber who made the mistake; however, it was easier to reach the builder, and he didn’t mind fixing it.

How to get it fixed or do it yourself

So if you do get a fix notification from Paul and his team, just call your initial builder or plumber, explain the situation and see if they can just fix it.

If you can see which pipe comes from your dishwasher and washing machine, or there is only one pipe, you can easily do it yourself, Paul will tell you which drain to use.

If you can’t do it yourself or you can’t reach your builder or plumber, another option would be to ask your plumber next time he comes out for an annual boiler service to just move the pipes. It’s a 2-minute job and it would save you the call-out charge.

Residents’ response so far

Paul said that they have had a very good response from local residents to their project so far and are always reachable if you have any questions at all. I’ve heard of a couple of people who felt a bit uneasy about the issues on their property and I hope that my own story helps a little to demonstrate that it’s actually a really easy fix that will make a huge difference for years to come.

Wildlife around Irish steams and rivers

All photos thanks to Unsplash, picture no. 8 ‘An otter catches a sizeable trout from the river Dodder in Milltown, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Tansey’ published by RTE and images no. 3 and 6 ‘Swan’ and ‘Salmon’ by Slaney River Trust Ireland

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