Good news for Wexford waterways

By Dan Walsh

Irish Water has produced a series of new videos to outline the benefits and progress in eliminating raw sewage discharged into the waterways across the country and the first video that goes live next Tuesday focusses on Wexford and drone footage over the estuary of The Three Sisters – Barrow, Nore and Suir.

Thousands flock to the beautiful village of Arthurstown in the townland of Coleman in south Wexford for many decades and the neighbouring Duncannon and Ballyhack are also popular seaside destinations, but there was always one problem. Poorly treated sewage was being discharged into the sea for decades, blemishing the inimitable beauty of these amazing coastal gems. But that is soon set to change with a new wastewater treatment plant being built in Arthurstown that will cater for all three settlements.

Barrow, Nore, Suir Estuary (Pic; Irish Water)

Lorraine Waters, Manager of the Hook Lighthouse and Heritage Centre is one of the local contributors in the video; “There are 19 local beaches in a ten-mile radius here. It’s incredible. And that’s why, you know, why we are so excited when we heard that this new wastewater treatment plant was in the pipeline. At the end of the day, its why people are coming down here, that wide open space. It’s that beautiful clear water.”

Caroline Helfer of Hooked Kitesurfing and is passionate about watersports; “I think it’s a great thing they are doing and its important, especially for such a small country that’s very much focused on water activity. Water quality is very important for everybody. Our kiting lessons are in the water, so our students end up properly fully submerged in the water, so when there’s a problem we have to warn the students of health risk. If there was a Blue Flag beach here, it would bring in additional tourism activity and probably bring in additional businesses to the area.”

The new wastewater treatment plant will have the capacity to cater for a population equivalent of nearly 2,000 people and will protect the integrity of the environment.

And there was more good news for Wexford too with a contract due to be signed in the coming weeks for a Wastewater Treatment Plant at Kilmore Quay with works set to begin in early 2022. That project is due for completion in 2023.

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