Ireland prosecuted over raw sewage in waters
Ireland is being prosecuted for failing to stop raw sewage from being discharged from 38 built-up areas without treatment.
The European Commission is taking the case after warning the State in 2013 that failure to put in place wastewater treatment facilities in areas including Arklow in Wicklow, Ringsend in Dublin and Cork and Waterford cities would result in prosecution.
European Commission representative Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea said if the court ruled against Ireland, the State would have 18 months to comply with the judgment.
Only after that would fines be imposed.
Irish Water said it would cost €1bn to comply. Member states had until the end of 2005 to ensure compliance.
Separately, a report from Waterways Ireland says Dublin's economy is losing at least €23m a year because it cannot host water-based sports events including triathlons due to pollution at the Grand Canal Basin.
The problem arises during periods of high rainfall where raw sewage can overflow into storm drains, which results in it being discharged into the Grand Canal Basin on a "regular basis".
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the works would take between €10m and €20m to address the issue, but it was not being prioritised.