Omeath in Co Louth
Three areas in Louth have been included in an Environmental Protection Agency report on wastewater being discharged into waterways around the county.
The report, published by the EPA this morning, shows that Omeath in north Louth continues to discharge untreated sewage into the local environment, due to a lack of a water treatment plant in the town.
A water treatment plant for the area is not set to be completed until 2023, with Omeath being one of 34 towns in Ireland that will continue to discharge untreated sewage into the environment for years to come.
Irish Water have said that they are progressing to construct the wastewater treatment plant in Omeath, with a contract being signed with Veolia Water Ireland Ltd to complete the project.
Work on the new plant is set to begin in the coming weeks, with work also being commenced on upgrading the new wastewater network in Omeath.
The EPA report states that while Irish Water have produced several plans to eliminate discharges of raw sewage, they have repeatedly failed to deliver on these plans.
“During the past year, Irish Water revised the number of areas it intends to connect to treatment by the end of 2023 from 28 down to just 14,” reads the EPA report.
“The repeated changes in plans and delays in bringing projects to construction are prolonging risks to the environment and people’s health.”
Both Dundalk and Dunleer are also highlighted in the report, with the EPA saying that improvements are needed in the areas to prevent wastewater from harming local rivers, lakes and coastal waters.
Improvements highlighted by the EPA include upgrading treatment plants, however, treatment upgrades are only set to occur within eight of the 42 prioritised areas. Five have already received upgrades.
According to Irish Water, progress is currently being made at the Dundalk Wastewater Treatment Plant, with works ongoing in upgrading sludge treatment infrastructure to address maintenance and health and safety issues.
“Having a modern, sustainable and functional wastewater network is critical in order to protect our environment and to support housing and economic growth in the years ahead," said Michael Tinsley.
"Irish Water is working closely with the EPA and our other partners, including local authorities, to ensure this can be delivered in the most efficient and sustainable way through the use of cutting edge technologies, science and engineering expertise, and meaningful engagement with local communities around Ireland."
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