By Dan Walsh
In a statement issued today, Irish Water claims consistent progress in upgrading wastewater treatment and eliminating the discharge of raw sewage to Ireland’s rivers, lakes and coastal areas is benefiting communities and enhancing the environment throughout Ireland.
In Wexford, investment in wastewater infrastructure in Courtown Gorey increased capacity to 36,000 population equivalent and Enniscorthy where the treatment plant at Saint John’s increased capacity to 26,200 population equivalent and has led to improvements in water quality, while also supporting housing and economic development in these areas.
The latest EPA Urban Wastewater Treatment Report, published today, shows the progress being made, while also highlighting the need for continued investment in essential wastewater services.
In the last six years, Irish Water has prioritised areas where it can support housing and development and have the greatest environmental impact, particularly in locations where raw sewage was discharging into our rivers and seas.
Over 60% of raw sewage discharges have been eliminated since 2015 – and replaced with treatment capacity for the equivalent of 120,000 people. As a result of the targeted investment in wastewater infrastructure, communities around Ireland are now reaping the rewards of a cleaner environment, safer bathing waters and greater opportunities for the development of new homes, businesses and tourism.
Again, in Wexford, Irish Water is on track to end the discharge of raw sewage by 2024 with the construction of new wastewater treatment plants in Arthurstown and will serve the communities of Arthurstown, Duncannon and Ballyhack. Construction on the project began in June 2021. In early 2022, construction will also begin on a new Wastewater Treatment Plant at Kilmore Quay. The Enniscorthy Main Drainage Scheme is also at design phase, with the Wexford Town Distillery Road Pumping Station Upgrade also at design phase.
Nationally, most all raw sewage discharges are on track to be removed by the end of 2025
Michael Tinsley of Irish Water commented: “Having a modern, sustainable and functional wastewater network is critical to protect our environment and to support housing and economic growth in the years ahead. Irish Water is working closely with the EPA and our other partners, including local authorities, to ensure this can be delivered in the most efficient and sustainable way using cutting-edge technologies, science and engineering expertise, and meaningful engagement with local communities around Ireland.”