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Displaying items by tag: sewage

Almost 30 sewage schemes across Ireland fall short of EU directives on wastewater treatment, as The Green News reports.

The European Court of Justice ruling from this past Thursday 28 March now means Ireland could be liable to significant fines if the problem schemes are not addressed.

Among the court’s findings were that Cork city’s strained wastewater treatment scheme was subject to more than 800 spillages of untreated sewage in 2015 alone.

Sensitive areas in Killarney, Longford, Dundalk and Tralee, among others, were also affected by untreated wastewater discharges for which the State has been reprimanded by European judges.

In addition, the State as found guilty of failing to provide for secondary treatment at a number of problem sites including Cobh in Cork Harbour, the fishing harbours of Arklow and Killybegs, and Ringsend in Dublin — the latter of which was the scene of a discharge of ‘activated sludge’ only a month ago.

The Department of Housing and Local Government says it has provided Irish Water “with the necessary resources to both tackle the deficiencies identified by the [ECJ] as well as providing the infrastructure which will underpin the future sustainable development of our country.”

Part of the State’s defence in this case were occasions of ‘unusually heavy rainfall’ that overwhelmed the country’s wastewater management systems.

Such conditions are also linked to the leeching of nitrates and phosphates from agricultural sites causing seaweed blooms in coastal areas, as highlighted by a recent academic report.

The news also comes after oral hearings began into a long-planned €500 million wastewater treatment scheme for North Dublin that faces strong local oppositions.

The Green News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Planners are from today set to review proposals for a controversial €500 million wastewater treatment scheme in North Dublin, as The Irish Times reports.

Clonshaugh near Dublin Airport was chosen in June 2013 as the site for the sewage ‘super plant’ before Irish Water took over the Greater Dublin Drainage project from Fingal County Council last year.

The new plant — second only to the Ringsend wastewater facility in scope — would be connected to a new orbital sewer to Blanchardstown, and an outfall pipe to eject treated wastewater in the sea north of Ireland’s Eye.

Plans for the new sewage processing plant have faced strong local opposition, both from residents adjacent to the Clonshaugh site and connected works and marine professionals concerned about potential environmental risks.

Last October, Howth-based ferryman Ken Doyle expressed his fears of the knock-on effect on fish stocks from any accidental contamination of the local waters from the outfall pipe.

The planning hearing began at The Gresham hotel in Dublin this morning, and The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineWildlife - A Howth-based ferryman fears for marine wildlife on and around Ireland’s Eye when a planned sewage outfall pipe begins discharging wastewater in the area.

Ken Doyle of Ireland’s Eye Ferries tells Dublin Live that any accidental contamination of the waters from the pipeline, from Clonshaugh to a mile off the small island immediately north of Howth, could have a disastrous knock-on effect on fish stocks — an issue both for sea anglers and local bird and seal colonies.

Five years ago, Clonshaugh in North Co Dublin was chosen as the location for the capital’s wastewater treatment ‘super plant’.

The scheme will connect a 26km orbital sewer through counties Dublin, Kildare and Meath with an outfall pipeline ejecting waste off Ireland’s Eye.

Doyle noted that when the outflow of raw sewage at Howth Head was ended with the opening of the Ringsend treatment plant, improvements in water quality meant “the bird population increased hugely and it’s all positive but I wouldn’t like it to go back to like it was.”

He adds that he is not opposed to the wastewater scheme in principle — only that he and other local residents and businesses want assurances that the plant will not have any negative impact on the environment.

Dublin Live has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Pollution - Cork Harbour, Ringsend in Dublin and more than 40 other Irish riverside or coastal towns and cities in still fail to meet EU sewage standards, according to a damning new EPA report.

RTÉ News has details of the environmental agency’s 2015 Urban Waste Water Treatment Report, which identifies 43 urban areas — 29 of them classed as large towns or cities – that continue to release raw sewage into the sea and rivers across Ireland.

A number of these locations have seen their timetable for tackling such discharges slip by almost two years due to lack of sufficient capital investment, which the EPA decries as “unacceptable”.

In locations such as Youghal and Merrion Strand, the release of untreated waste has been linked to a significant lowering of bathing water quality.

The news is little different from almost three years ago, when the EPA identified the likes of Killybegs in Co Donegal and Cork Harbour as black spots for untreated wastewater.

More recently, Housing Minister Simon Coveney promised that the problem of discharges from a number of communities around Cork Harbour would be solved within the next 18 months, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#CorkHarbour - Some 35,000 wheelie bins’ worth of raw sewage is being discharged into Cork Harbour every day, Housing Minister Simon Coveney has told the Dáil.

But as The Irish Times reports, the minister has promised that the problem will be fixed within the next 18 months by Irish Water as part of a €100 million wastewater scheme for the region.

More than three years ago, Afloat.ie reported that untreated waste was flowing into open water from communities around Cork Harbour as they awaited new sewage facilities.

Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy, Passage West and Cobh were cited among those towns and areas that continue to discharge raw sewage through a number of outflows into the harbour.

“There is a lot to do here,” said Minister Coveney in reference to Cork Harbour as well as other group water schemes throughout the country, which have a funding package signed off by all relevant bodies.

Responding to Dáil questions regarding the financing of Irish Water’s capital programme, the minister said the Government was committed to keeping Irish Water as a single national and publicly owned utility that “can achieve many of the more national strategic goals that need to be attained around water that individual local authorities on their own could not do.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#CoastalNotes - Seven large urban coastal areas are among more than 40 towns nationwide still seeing untreated sewage released into the water supply, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns.

According to RTÉ News, the EPA says the current situation is in breach of an EU directive issued more than two decades ago.

Yet three large towns – Killybegs in Co Donegal, Ringaskiddy on Cork Harbour and Arklow in Co Wicklow - have been waiting some 13 years for secondary wastewater treatment facilities.

Moreover, it's been found that nearly a third of established secondary treatment plants nationwide do not meet the EU's main effluent standards, prompting serious pollution concerns.

Clifden in Co Galway and the Co Cork towns of Youghal, Cobh and Passage West have also been identified among the bigger urban areas still discharging untreated wastewater into coastal waters.

The news comes just weeks after it was discovered that effluent from an entire town in Co Galway is being piped into a Special Area of Conservation.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Turlough - TheJournal.ie reports that waste water from a whole town in Co Galway is being piped into a Special Area of Conservation.

According to an investigation by Ireland's national trust An Taisce, sewage from the town of Glenamaddy, home to some 700 residents in the north-east of the county, is being discharged in a local turlough - a lake that appears and disappears as the water table rises and falls - from which is has contaminated a nearby spring.

An Taisce described the town's present sewage unit as "primitive" and said: "It has been a subject of internal discussions within various public authorities for the best part of at least 20 years, yet the hazard continues to this day.”

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#DublinBay - The Supreme Court has ruled that residents of Ringsend in Dublin can continue their legal challenge to the expansion of the area's sewage treatment plant, as RTÉ News reports.

The planned €270 million extension is part of the Dublin Bay Project that will see a 9km tunnel constructed to enable the discharge of treated sewage far into Dublin Bay.

At present the wastewater is discharged at Ringsend, in the southern part of Dublin's Docklands.

The Sandymount and Merrion Residents' Association argues that the new pipeline would discharge effluent into the newly designated marine conservation area between Rockabill and Dalkey Island.

The High Court's approval of residents' challenge to the granting of planning permission for the development was appealed by the State and Dublin City Council, but that appeal was rejected by the Surpreme Court today (10 October).

A similar sewage scheme in North Co Dublin has also faced objections from residents throughout the Fingal area.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

#CorkHarbour - Untreated sewage is being discharged from "multiple" locations into Cork Harbour as residents await the development of new waste water treatment works.

As reported by Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde, harbour officials have given confirmation that "there are still multiple untreated discharges to Cork Harbour.

"It is not simply a case of repairing a broken sewer to cease untreated discharges," the spokesperson added.

Waste water from Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy, Passage West and Cobh, among other areas, is discharged through a number of outflows into the lower harbour - a region earmarked for a new drainage scheme project that's projected to be completed three years from now.

Harbour officials underlined that the level of the water table has no impact on the discharge, and that as the lower harbour is not designated for bathing there are no issues for swimmers.

Published in Cork Harbour

#Sewage - Clonshaugh in North Dublin has been chosen as the location for the city's new water treatment 'super plant' which has long faced objections from local campaigners.

As The Irish Times reports, a meeting of Fingal County Council yesterday afternoon (10 June) saw the site near Dublin Airport chosen over Annsbrook and Newtowncorduff, both near the coastal towns of Rush and Lusk.

Part of the plan includes the construction of a 26km orbital sewer to collect waste from parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath, and an outfall pipeline that will eject waste near Ireland's Eye.

Project managers have described the Clonshaugh option as "ecologically and environmentally better" than the alternatives, but campaigners such as Reclaim Fingal chair Brian Hosford argue that "the potential for environmental disaster [with a single large plant] is enormous".

In January 2012, Minister for Health James Reilly raised his own concerns that any potential malfunction at the large-scale facility - second-only in scale to the new water treatment plant at Ringsend - could see huge amounts of raw sewage pumped into the Irish Sea.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times also spoke to a farming family who may lose as many as 40 acres if the 'super plant' gets the go-ahead adjacent to their land.

"I would have to change my whole system of farming if this goes ahead," said 77-year-old PJ Jones, who added that his biggest concern was the smell.

Published in News Update
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