'If this happens in a small sewage plant how can we have confidence in a larger operation?'

Published 04/09/2012 | 18:16

SEWAGE spillages in Balbriggan highlight the dangers of current sewage treatment management according to a Lusk community activist fighting plans to build a giant regional sewage plant in the area.

Lusk Waste Watch spokesperson, Lorcan O'Toole, reacted to the spillages that closed Balbriggan beach to bathers last week, saying: 'If this is what happens with a small sewage plant, how can we have confidence in their operation of a larger plant? 'Reassurances that this would never happen in a huge regional plant, like the one Fingal County Council is proposing, do not ring true. We know that even the giant Ringsend plant has had to let untreated sewage be discharged in times of heavy rain.' He added: ' Our weather experts tell us that we can expect more and more periods of very heavy rain in the years to come. 'Are we to be condemned to having millions of litres of raw sewage from other council areas pumped into our fishing and bathing waters? 'Imagine the consequence if we had a massive sewage treatment plant that failed. The consequences for tourism, health, fishing, horticulture and life generally in the area would be disastrous.' A council spokesperson said: 'It's important to point out that larger plants like the one proposed for the Greater Dublin Drainage project have a significantly higher level of engineering resilience built into them given the much higher volume of wastewater they treat.'

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