Date released: November 13, 2019
The EPA report on Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2018, released today, shows there have been some improvements in waste water treatment in the past year, including the elimination of discharges of raw sewage from two areas. However, the pace at which Irish Water is fixing the legacy of deficiencies in Ireland’s waste water treatment infrastructure is too slow, and many areas continue to release inadequately treated waste water into the environment. Raw sewage from 36 towns and villages is still released into our coastal waters and rivers today.
Commenting on the report Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,
“Inadequately treated waste water can pollute our environment and is a risk to people’s health. We are seeing repeated delays in providing treatment for many areas and it is not acceptable that 13 towns and villages will still have no waste water treatment by the end of 2021. Irish Water must speed up its delivery of key infrastructure.”
Mr Andy Fanning, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement commented that,
“The underlying problem in many cases is a lack of adequate treatment infrastructure. This is a legacy issue which must be solved by investment in new treatment systems. However, some towns that already have the necessary treatment in place did not perform as well as they should. We require Irish Water to continue to improve how it operates and maintains waste water treatment systems to get the best performance from them”.
The report is now available on the EPA Website.
Further information: Niamh Hatchell / Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Waste water is one of the main threats to water quality in Ireland. The EPA priorities where Irish Water should target its resources to bring improvements in treatment where they are most needed are:
Irish Water must also carry out significant work to improve information on the condition and performance of public sewers across the country to help focus upgrade works where they are most needed.
21 large towns and cities that failed to meet waste water treatment standards in 2018.
36 towns and villages where raw sewage is released into the environment every day.