Irish Water progressing "priority" Omeath sewerage system upgrade

The plant will stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough.

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Former Omeath B&B with 'breathtaking' views over Carlingford Lough

Former Omeath B&B with 'breathtaking' views over Carlingford Lough

The move to build a new Wastewater Treatment Plant for Omeath has progressed to the land acquisition stage, in a move Irish Water say will stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough. 

Irish Water today (Friday, February 23rd) confirmed they are progressing the project to upgrade the Omeath sewerage system which will in turn stop the flow of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough.

Once complete, they say, the proposed scheme will improve the water quality in Carlingford Lough benefiting the people that use the Lough and the wildlife that live on the banks of and in the Lough.

'The cleaner water will enhance the amenity value and support social and economic development in the area. The proposed new wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations and sewer pipes will support the increase in local population and future development in the area' Irish Water said in a statement today. 

'The practice of discharging untreated wastewater to the Lough is no longer acceptable and Irish Water is rectifying this in conjunction with Louth County Council by constructing a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (subject to planning permission), pumping stations (subject to planning permission) and sewer network to ensure that the treated wastewater discharged to Carlingford Lough meets the appropriate standards.'

'The new Wastewater infrastructure will bring benefits to Omeath in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all' they said. 

The Carlingford Shore is a designated Special Area of Conservation and Carlingford Lough is a proposed National Heritage Area and an important shellfish area.

Irish Water is now submitting Compulsory Purchase Orders to An Bord Pleanála, in relation to required wayleaves and lands. Previously, they have been unable to acquire all of the required wayleaves and lands on a voluntary basis. 

The company say that the CPOs are being sough "given the importance of the project." Consultations have been on-going with all landowners identified on the proposed scheme.

Subsequent to the land acquisition process Irish Water will be seeking planning permission for the Omeath Sewage Scheme from Louth County Council. Subject to the Planning and CPO statutory approvals construction work is expected to commence in early 2019 with project completion in 2021.

Commenting on the project Paul Fallon, Infrastructure Programme Manager with Irish Water said, "Irish Water is pleased to be progressing the Omeath Sewerage Scheme.

"The next stage is to submit a Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála to acquire the necessary lands for the project. Stopping the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough is a priority for Irish Water. The proposed scheme will protect the environment by improving the water quality in the Lough for residents and tourists that visit the area and the wildlife that live in and around the Lough.

Irish Water is committed to delivering this project and will keep the community informed at each stage of the project," he added.

The Omeath Sewerage Scheme will involve the construction of the new wastewater treatment plant on a greenfield site north of Omeath Village. The new plant will serve a population equivalent of 1,000 with the capacity for future expansion.

The project also includes new foul sewer connections to connect existing wastewater pipes, the construction of a new main pumping station at Shore Road and rising main to transfer wastewater to the new plant.

A new outfall pumping station and outfall rising main will bring the treated discharge to the outfall. Work will be carried out to upgrade and extend the existing outfall pipe which will allow the safe discharge of treated wastewater into Carlingford Lough.

Irish Water spent over €525 million on water services in 2017.