Irish Water has appealed to the public not to put food waste - especially fats, oils and greases - down the sink to prevent costly blockages of pipes known as "fatbergs".

Tom Cuddy of Irish Water's Asset Operations said over €7 million is spent each year dealing with clearing out matter which blocks pipes and drains.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said that so-called "fatbergs" are an accumulation of debris that has travelled down drains into the sewer. 

They consist of congealed oils and greases which form deposits on pipe and require jetting and vacuum machinery to clear.

Mr Cuddy said the scale of the problem is huge, as they have to deal with around 6,000 "fatbergs" every year.

There have been over 1,500 sewer blockages cleared already this year, the equivalent of 125 blockages per week.

He said they are very tricky and costly to deal with.

He said Irish Water is looking for people to not put food waste down the sink, with a particular focus on fats oils and greases, such as after having a fry or using a roasting dish.