independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Residents fume at stinking river

Deborah Coleman

Published 02/08/2014 | 00:00

Raw sewage and bags of domestic rubbish dumped in the river at Arklow

An Arklow resident has expressed her anger and disappointment that she cannot walk near her home or even open the windows due to the extreme smell emanating from the Avoca River.

Susan Fitzgerald from South Green said that the smell is so bad it is having a negative impact on the community and that it is not good enough for those who have to put up with it on an on-going basis.

'It really is not good enough. Why should we have to put up with this? It made me so angry to see all the fuss about Garth Brooks and Enda Kenny dropping everything to get involved. What about the problems we are putting up with for years?'

Ms. Fitzgerald outlined that on a recent walk, when the smell of the river was particularly bad after a spell of good weather, she was appalled to see raw sewage gathered in pools along the surface.

'It was just disgusting. To see sewage floating in the river is awful. There are times when I cannot even open the windows at home because we have to try and keep the smell out. We have two filters on our taps and they have to be changed much more regularly than advised because they get so dirty,' she said.

'We live so close to the river yet we cannot go out and enjoy a walk there because of the smell. I see people fishing in the river and I don't know how they can put up with it. There should be hazard signs erected because it cannot be healthy to fish in or swim in. It has to be toxic.'

Similarly, various local clubs and organisations including Arklow Sea Scouts have been campaigning for years to have hazard signs posted along the river.

'The Sea Scouts, Sailing Club and Rowing Club all grouped together for the petition going back 15 years ago. We had to stop our water activities in the river and move them to The Cove. We had kids coming down from other areas who couldn't understand why we weren't using the river. It is non-tidal and very safe but just cannot be used as the sewage of 15,000 people is flowing into it,' explained Jimmy Myler of the Arklow Sea Scouts.

He added that the matter should be on the local council agenda on an ongoing basis.

Wicklow People

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