By Dan Walsh
While warm weather and water conservation dominated the headlines, it was another big week for the public and customers of Irish Water for a different reason as three key pieces of infrastructure in the South, West and East of the county were being announced helping to safeguard water supplies and eliminate the discharge of raw sewage into the environment.
The announcement of new infrastructure was welcome news locally for the residents, politicians and local business of Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Mayo and Wexford as Irish Water continued to deliver essential projects across the country. The projects mean a more secure water supply for customers in the East and improved water quality for swimming, angling and tourism in Mayo and Wexford.
It was sun, sea, sand and a sod turning in Wexford as Irish Water began works to end discharge of raw sewage with the sod turning for a new Wastewater Treatment Plant for Arthurstown, Duncannon and Ballyhack. Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy said: “The commencement of this vital sewerage infrastructure development will lead to enhanced tourism opportunities for the beautiful villages of Arthurstown, Ballyhack and Duncannon. In Wexford we pride ourselves on our expansive well-maintained beaches and coastline with all the amenities they offer.
“The removal of untreated wastewater to this estuary has long been a goal of Wexford County Council, and we can now look forward to all the benefits of a cleaner environment, previously denied due to the lack of treatment in the area. These works will also hasten the return of our Blue Flag Beach status to Duncannon. I very much welcome the investment from Irish Water in conjunction with Wexford County Council.”
The Greater Dublin area, a water supply zone spanning five counties, saw the official sod turning in Saggart of a new 100 million litre covered treated storage reservoir that will help to safeguard the water supply to homes and businesses.
In Killala, Co. Mayo Minister Peter Burke and Managing Director of Irish Water Niall Gleeson officially opened Killala, Foxford and Charlestown Wastewater Treatment Plants following a €19m investment which has ended the discharge of raw sewage to Killala Bay and will bring environmental benefits to the River Moy.