News Irish News

Sunday 21 October 2018

Council sewage plants 'causing huge problems'

A SHOCKING 4,039km of Ireland's 13,200km of rivers and streams are polluted, mainly from ineffective local authority sewage plants, the Environmental Protection Agency's three-year study reveals, writes Treacy Hogan. Twenty-four locations nationwide are being seriously polluted by local authority sewage discharges, while 200 are being "very considerably affected", that is,

A SHOCKING 4,039km of Ireland's 13,200km of rivers and streams are polluted, mainly from ineffective local authority sewage plants, the Environmental Protection Agency's three-year study reveals, writes Treacy Hogan. Twenty-four locations nationwide are being seriously polluted by local authority sewage discharges, while 200 are being "very considerably affected", that is, moderately polluted, by waste from towns and villages.

Phosphorus from municipal sewage discharges and agricultural discharges are mainly responsible.

The report found some 2,370 km (17.9pc) are suffering from slight pollution, an increase of 0.9pc on a similar study carried out by the agency in 2000. A further 1,637 km of rivers (12.3pc) are moderately polluted, while 76km (0.6pc) are officially "seriously polluted".

The following is a breakdown of the River Basin Districts and how they fare.

� Eastern RBD - 59pc polluted, just 41pc unpolluted. � Neagh Bann - 45pc polluted, 55pc unpolluted.� South Eastern - 42pc polluted, 58pc unpolluted.� Shannon - 37pc polluted, 63pc unpolluted. Serious pollution in nine rivers.

� North Western - 24pc polluted, 76pc unpolluted.� Western - 16pc polluted, 84pc unpolluted.

� South Western - 11pc polluted, 89pc unpolluted.

The full list of seriously polluted river locations 2001-2003 is:

� From municipal discharges: St Johnston, Nanny (Meath), Aughboy (Wexford), Figile, Slate, Tully Stream, Glory, Nore, Blackwater (Munster), Bride (Lee), Ahavaraga Stream, Loobagh, Brosna, Graney (Shannon), Tullamore, Rhine, Loughnaminoo Stream, Maggy's Burn, Bredagh, Donagh.

� From suspected agricultural sources: Gowran, Halfway House Stream, Brogeen, Murlin, Roosky.

� From suspected industrial sources: Camac, Santry, Tully Stream, Magherarney, Aighe.

� From unknown or other sources: Painestown, Cappanacloghy, Lee (Tralee), Broadford, Tullinteane, Ballymacscanlan, Avoca, Barnacullia Stream, Silvermines Stream, Jiggy (Hind), Owendalulleegh, Tullaghobegly.

Recent improvements were recorded in the north western and south western districts in contrast with "overall deterioration" in the Shannon basin district.

The most serious case of metal pollution was found in the Avoca River, Wicklow, which is seriously contaminated with copper, zinc and lead.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News