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Deeper Water Location Urged for Roundstone's Waste Water Treatment Plant

16th March 2021
Roundstone Harbour in County Galway
Roundstone Harbour in County Galway - the town's existing sewerage scheme dates from 1929 and discharges raw wastewater directly into the sea at three locations.

Irish Water has defended its location of a new wastewater treatment for the Connemara village of Roundstone amid local fears it will perpetuate pollution of the inner bay.

As The Times Ireland edition reports, Irish Water is seeking to purchase private land for the treatment plant, instead of opting for land owned by the IDA close to outer Roundstone Bay which residents believe to be more suitable as a deeper water location.

A Bord Pleanála oral hearing into compulsory purchase of land at the north end of the village overlooking inner Roundstone Bay opened this week.

Roundstone’s existing sewerage scheme dating from 1929 and discharges raw wastewater directly into the sea at three locations.

If the compulsory purchase of private lands at the northern end of the village is confirmed, Irish Water says it intends to submit a planning application to Galway County Council for the plant on the north end of the village with a target completion date of 2024.

Irish Water's proposed locations for Roundstone waste water treatment plantIrish Water's proposed locations for Roundstone's wastewater treatment plant

However, residents who did not wish to be named say they cannot understand why Irish Water did not opt for a site at the southern end of the village on IDA lands, closer to deeper water.

They argue the data shows there will be an increase in sewage discharge from 86 to 106 cubic metres per day - as in a 23% increase - at the inner bay site.

An artist's aerial view from north of the proposed new Roundstone pumping stationAn artist's aerial view from north of the proposed new Roundstone pumping station

Local fisherman Pat Conneely said that the IDA location would be more suitable on an environmental basis than the proposed inner bay location would is tidal.

Roundstone Community Council chairman Nicholas Griffin said that it had been campaigning for a treatment plant for 20 years, but supported the democratic right of local people to object to the choice of location.

Irish Water says it is committed to end discharge of untreated waste water.

A site within the IDA lands was “one of the options considered for the Roundstone wastewater treatment plant” but “was not the preferred option following a site selection process”, it says.

IDA Ireland confirmed it recently sought planning permission to upgrade its own waste water treatment plant at its park.

Read The Times here

Published in Galway Harbour Team

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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