Irish Water has approved work to modernize 21 wastewater treatment plants, which the utility says will unlock growth and development in small towns and villages across the state.
The upgrade of small wastewater treatment plants follows repeated fines against the company for incidents involving wastewater discharges in recent years. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), raw sewage from more than 30 towns and villages continued to be discharged into nearby waters at the end of 2019.
The EPA has also been very critical of Irish Water’s management of drinking water facilities, including those at Gorey in County Wexford and Ballymore Eustace in County Kildare serving Dublin. Unsanitary water has recently been spilled from the two factories which cover a population of nearly one million people.
Irish Water’s head of asset management Sean Laffey on Thursday said the 21 new work in wastewater treatment plans would support the government’s plans on housing for all to allow for expansion and development in small towns.
He said some 98 million euros had been allocated to the project.
The works include extending treatment plants or, in some cases, connecting to larger municipal services, such as connecting the sewers from Mountcharles in County Donegal to the town of Donegal.
The work at the 21 plants, however, is separate from Irish Water’s efforts to eliminate raw sewage discharges from some 31 urban wastewater treatment plants, which the EPA said were still in violation of the standards. ‘EU at the end of 2019.
Locations include the cities of Dublin and Cork, as well as several large regional towns such as Arklow in Wicklow and Shannon in Clare.
Responding to questions about untreated wastewater discharges, a spokesperson for Irish Water said that by the end of this year construction will have started at 14 sites, with eight more projects scheduled to start next year and the other nine from 2023.
This means that the majority of raw wastewater discharges are on track to be phased out by the end of 2025.
He said Arklow in County Wicklow had been approved for a new 100 million euro plant, which was a “major achievement”.
More than 60% of raw wastewater discharges have been eliminated since 2015 – and replaced by a treatment capacity for the equivalent of 120,000 people.
As a result, Irish Water said of the targeted investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure: âIrish communities are now reaping the benefits of a cleaner environment, safer bathing waters and greater opportunities. for the development of new homes, businesses and tourism.
âTo date, new sewage treatment plants have been built in 17 locations where raw sewage has been dumped into the sea for decades.
âBy the end of this year, construction will have started at 14 more sites, with eight more projects scheduled to start next year and the other nine from 2023. This means that the majority of wastewater discharges brutes are on track to be phased out by the end of 2025, âthe spokesperson said.
He added that details of Irish Water’s capital investment plan would be released in the coming weeks.
The full list of the 21 factories to upgrade is as follows:
Ballinabrannagh, Carlow; Mullagh, Cavan; Ballineen / Enniskean, Cork; Belgooley, LiÃ¨ge; Ballinspittle, LiÃ¨ge; Castlemagnier, LiÃ¨ge; Mountcharles, Donegal; Timolin, Kildare; Bennettsbridge, Kilkenny; Hospital, Limerick; Killashee, Longford; Castlebellingham, Louth; Doogort, Mayo; Oram, Monaghan; Lecarrow, Roscommon; Mullaghmore, Sligo; Kilsheelan, Tipperary; Lisvarrinane, Tipperary; Lemybrien, Waterford; Wellingtonbridge, Wexford; Grahormac (Tagoat), Wexford.