Urban waste water is domestic waste water (from residential settlements) or a mixture of domestic waste water with industrial waste water (from premises used for trade or industry) and/or run-off rain water.
The EPA is the environmental regulator responsible for the authorisation and enforcement of urban waste water discharges, in accordance with the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations, 2007 as amended. Irish Water is responsible for the collection, treatment and discharge of urban waste water in compliance with the requirements of EPA waste water discharge authorisations.
The EPA publishes annual reports on the quality of effluent discharged from urban waste water treatment works throughout the country.
The latest report 'Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2019' identifies the priority areas where resources must be targeted, to protect our environment from the harmful effects of waste water, and deliver environmental improvements where they are most needed.
Priorities to be resolved
The report also highlights the need for Irish Water to complete overdue assessments of the impacts of waste water discharges on 26 of Ireland’s designated shellfish waters.
Ireland requires substantial and sustained investment in waste water treatment infrastructure to resolve these priorities.
All links in this section are to further information on our desktop site for Urban Waste Water
Our licensing section contains further information on the licensing process for waste water discharge authorisation
Reports on Urban Waste Water Treatment
Search for a waste water discharge application, authorisation or annual environmental report
Advice and guidance on reporting and complying with waste water discharge authorisations