Beach spillage a 'collosal failure of sewage network'

Published 04/09/2012 | 18:16

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THE SEWAGE spill that caused Balbriggan Beach to close for much of last week has been condemned as a ' colossal failure of the sewage network'.

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That was the view of Deputy Brendan Ryan TD (Lab), who said: 'I am very concerned that a breakdown in the pumping network could go unnoticed for 26 hours and that ultimately it was member of the public who brought the spill to the attention of the authorities. ' The discharge occurred due to a power failure in the network caused by adverse weather. There is a definite need for the immediate implementation of adequate power back up and alarm systems to ensure such a breakdown does not occur and go unnoticed again.' Deputy Ryan has questioned if Fingal County Council is in compliance with the conditions of its discharge licence, in the wake of the incident. He said: ' Fingal County Council is in receipt of a discharge license issued in 2009. Within the conditions of the discharge license were specific requirements to deal with matters such as unintended overflows and discharges to be in place before 2010. So far these requirements have not been fulfilled. ' This is unacceptable and scrutiny really needs to fall upon Minister Hogan and the Department for Environment. The Department for Environment did not included the Barnageera station and surrounding pipe networks for upgrade works as part of the Water Services Investment Program despite an appeal from Fingal County Council for the station to be included. 'In a recent report focussing on Urban Waste Water Discharges in Ireland the EPA highlighted two local authorities, one of which I know to be Fingal County Council, with critical outstanding work to be completed to upgrade its pipe and pumping network'.

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