Friday 19 July 2019

Louth waste water systems to be upgraded

Olivia Ryan

A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted untreated wastewater in Omeath and a number of Louth towns which failed to meet EU standards when it came to its water.

The report, published last week led saw a detailed programme of works being announced by Irish Water, some of which are already underway.

The water agency said they were 'on track to deliver on our approved investment plans which will result no areas in the country having any form of untreated wastewater discharge by 2021.'

Engineer Paul Fallon explained the work being done to improve wastewater treatments locally.

'In Louth, Irish Water is progressing a project to upgrade the Omeath Sewerage Scheme to stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough. The proposed scheme, expected to be completed in 2020, will improve the water quality in Carlingford Lough benefiting the people that use the Lough and the wildlife that live on the banks of and in the Lough.'

He added that Irish Water have implemented 'operational and process improvements including the installation of phosphorus removal systems at both the wastewater treatment plants in Dundalk and Drogheda to ensure compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.'

'The sewage treatment plant in Ardee is currently being upgraded to 8,000 PE and will be completed in 2019.'

'Meanwhile in Blackrock, a new aeration and sludge management system is going to be installed in the Blackrock wastewater treatment plant in early 2019 to provide additional capacity at the plant.'

The spokesman explained that Irish Water 'has to focus investment in wastewater and does so by prioritising, firstly those locations that are not compliant with European Standards under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive and also by focusing on those locations with no treatment of raw sewage and those other locations where we need to improve existing treatment.'

He added that in twelve towns around the country were raw sewage went directly into the water, new wastewater plants have been constructed. There are plans progressing for an additional 38 locations.

Irish Water in conjunction with the local authorities is continuing to roll out standard operating procedures for wastewater treatment plants to ensure that they are operated to the highest standards possible.

Highlighting the progress made, and the series of works programmes that will be getting underway, the Irish Water engineer said 'In total since 2014 Irish Water has upgraded or built new wastewater treatment plants in 55 locations across the country improving the environment, supporting tourism and in many cases building capacity for new homes and businesses.'

Projects like the sewage scheme upgrades in Ardee and Omeath as well as process and operational improvements at Dundalk and Drogheda wastewater treatment plants form part of Irish Water's wider investment to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure in Louth to protect the environment and to meet the current wastewater infrastructure needs and support future development.

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