Fears for blue flag as sewage flows into Liscannor Bay
WASTEWATER from a town's septic tank is being purposely released into the sea just two kilometres from the popular seaside town of Lahinch in Co Clare.
A group of men in protective clothing purposely broke a pipe allowing a geyser of material to flow into Liscannor Bay.
According to the Liscannor Harbour Committee, the action is undertaken on a semi- regular basis by unknown people, who break the pipes to relieve pressure on the towns outdated sewage system and prevent raw sewage from backing up into the village itself.
Irish Water have declined to comment on whether they are involved, but did confirm that they are currently seeking to develop a new sewage treatment facility for the town.
According to Patrick Blake of the Liscannor Harbour Committee, the pressure on the system was so great that waste material was shot 20 feet into the air when the pipe was broken last week.
Locals have been campaigning for a new sewage treatment system in Liscannor for more then 20 years, but the problem has become more acute in recent years because of an increase in the local population, especially during the summer.
"The bigger difficulty is that Lahinch is just east of Liscannor and all of this is flowing in twice a day with the incoming tide. This will put the blue flag, the surfing, the huge tourism industry at Lahinch in trouble and we don't want to be responsible for that," Mr Blake said.
Irish Water declined to answer specific questions about the process of releasing material from the pipes, but a spokesperson did say that a study will be carried out on the Liscannor sewage system later this year.
"Irish Water has completed assessment of tenders and intends to award a contract in September for a design study on a number of areas where there is currently no treatment. Liscannor is one of the areas that will be included in this study," said a spokesperson.
"The study will look at possible solutions for the upgrade of wastewater infrastructure in those areas and the programme for completion of any upgrade works will depend on the outcome of the study."