Counties Cork, Donegal and Galway fail to provide adequate sewage treatment facilities to meet EU standards

Date released: Nov 24 2015

 

  • 82% (143 out of 174) of large urban areas achieve the mandatory EU quality standards – this figure is up 8% in two years.
  • Untreated sewage is discharged at 45 urban areas – over half of these are in three counties (Cork, Donegal and Galway) 

The EPA Urban Waste Water Treatment Report for 2014, released today, highlights the need for investment in waste water infrastructure to eliminate the discharge of raw sewage from urban areas and to meet European Union standards intended to prevent the adverse environmental and public health effects associated with sewage.

Commenting on the report Mr Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,

“Sewage discharges continue to impact on our environment with counties Cork, Donegal and Galway the worst affected areas.  A reversal of the decline in capital expenditure seen in recent years is needed to eliminate the discharge of raw sewage from our environment and allow Ireland to meet EU standards."

Some key findings of the report on infrastructure and effluent quality:

  • 143 out of the 174 large urban areas (82%) achieve the mandatory EU quality standards. This figure is up 8% in two years.
  • 45 areas had no waste water treatment and discharged raw sewage.
  • Twelve large urban areas did not meet the Directive’s requirement to provide secondary treatment.
  • Seven large urban areas did not meet the Directive’s requirement to provide infrastructure to reduce nutrients and did not meet nutrient quality standards.

Some key findings on the management and operation of plants:

  • Operational improvements are required at 57 urban areas, which have sufficient treatment capacity but failed to meet the effluent quality standards.
  • 21% of incidents at waste water plants were attributed to issues surrounding operation and maintenance.

And some key findings in relation to the receiving environment:

  • Waste water discharges contributed to poor bathing water quality at seven designated bathing waters in 2014, including Youghal and Rush.
  • There is just one seriously polluted river site (Bredagh, Moville) where pollution is caused by urban waste water discharges. This is down from six in 2013.

Mr David Flynn, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement commented that,

“As well as investing in capital works, the operation and management of existing waste water plants needs to improve.  Audits of sewage plants undertaken by the EPA had found in some cases inadequate maintenance and operation of plant and equipment.”

Concluding Mr Flynn said that,

“One fifth of all pollution incidents at sewage plants could be prevented by better management and operation of treatment plants.”

The report is now available on the EPA Website.

ENDS


Further information: Niamh Hatchell/ Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie

31 large urban areas that failed to meet the EU Directive’s effluent quality and sampling standards in 2014.

No.CountyUrban Area
 1 Carlow  Tullow
 2 Cavan  Cavan
 3 Cavan  Kingscourt
 4 Clare  Shannon
 5 Cork  Cork City
 6 Cork  Clonakilty
 7 Cork  Cobh
 8 Cork  Passage/Monkstown
 9 Cork  Rathcormac
10  Cork  Ringaskiddy/Crosshaven/Carrigaline
 11 Cork  Youghal
 12 Donegal  Bundoran
 13 Donegal  Convoy
 14 Donegal  Killybegs
 15 Donegal  Lifford
 16 Dublin  Dublin City (Ringsend)
 17 Galway  Athenry
 18 Galway  Clifden
 19 Galway  Mountbellew
 20 Leitrim  Drumshanbo
 21 Limerick  Adare
 22 Mayo  Foxford
 23 Mayo  Westport
 24 Meath  Stamullen
 25 Sligo  Tubbercurry
 26 Tipperary  Roscrea
 27 Waterford  Portlaw
 28 Waterford  Tallow
 29 Wexford  Enniscorthy
 30 Wexford  Wexford Town
 31 Wicklow  Arklow



45 urban areas with no treatment or preliminary treatment only in 2014.

No.CountyUrban Area
 1  Clare  Ballyvaughan
 2  Clare  Clarecastle
 3  Clare  Kilkee
 4  Clare  Kilrush
 5  Clare  Liscannor
 6  Cork  Ballycotton
 7  Cork  Castletownbere
 8  Cork  Castletownshend
 9  Cork  Cobh
 10  Cork  Inchigeelagh
 11  Cork  Passage West/Monkstown
 12  Cork  Ringaskiddy/Crosshaven/Carrigaline
 13  Cork  Ringaskiddy Village
 14  Cork  Timoleague
 15  Cork  Whitegate/Aghada
 16  Cork  Youghal
 17  Donegal  Bundoran
 18  Donegal  Burtonport
 19  Donegal  Coolatee Housing Scheme
 20  Donegal  Falcarragh
 21  Donegal  Kerrykeel
 22  Donegal  Kilcar
 23  Donegal  Killybegs
 24  Donegal  Moville
 25  Donegal  Ramelton
 26  Donegal  Rathmullen
 27  Donegal  St. Johnston
 28  Dublin (Fingal)  Rush
 29  Galway  Ahascragh
 30  Galway  Carraroe
 31  Galway  Kinvarra
 32  Galway  Roundstone
 33  Galway  Spiddal
 34  Kerry  Ballylongford
 35  Louth  Omeath
 36  Mayo  Belmullet
 37  Mayo  Killala
 38  Waterford  Ardmore
 39  Waterford  Dunmore East
 40  Wexford  Arthurstown
 41  Wexford  Ballyhack
 42  Wexford  Duncannon
 43  Wexford  Kilmore Quay
 44  Wicklow  Arklow
 45  Wicklow  Avoca

 

12 large urban areas that did not meet the EU Directive’s requirement to provide secondary treatment in 2014.

No.CountyUrban Area
 1  Cork  Cobh
 2  Cork  Ringaskiddy/Crosshaven/Carrigaline
 3  Cork  Passage West/Monkstown
 4  Cork  Youghal
 5  Donegal  Bundoran
 6  Donegal  Convoy
 7  Donegal  Killybegs
 8  Donegal  Lifford
 9  Galway  Clifden
 10  Waterford  Portlaw
 11  Waterford  Tallow
 12  Wicklow  Arklow

 

7 large urban areas that did not meet the EU Directive’s requirement to provide infrastructure to reduce nutrients and did not meet nutrient quality standards in 2014.

No.CountyUrban Area
 1  Cavan  Cavan
 2  Cork  Cork City
 3  Cork  Youghal
 4  Donegal  Killybegs
 5  Dublin  Dublin City (Ringsend)
 6  Tipperary  Roscrea
 7  Wexford  Enniscorthy


7 Waste water discharges linked with poor status bathing waters

CountyUrban AreaBathing Area
 Cork  Youghal  Youghal Front Strand Beach
 Dublin (Fingal)  Rush  Rush, South Beach
 Galway  Galway City  Ballyloughane Beach
 Galway  Clifden  Clifden Beach
 Waterford  Ardmore  Ardmore Beach
 Westmeath  Lilliput Adventrue Centre  Lilliput, Lough Ennel
 Wexford  Duncannon  Duncannon Beach