Saturday 26 May 2018

Millions of euro to fix 'most polluted river in the country'

The Avoca River as it flows through Arklow.
The Avoca River as it flows through Arklow.

The Avoca River was described as the 'most polluted in the country' at Monday's meeting of Wicklow County Council.

Jonathan Sexton provided the elected members with an update of the Water Framework Directive - Draft Basin Management Plan, and sought feedback on any water body which Councillors feel may be at risk.

Cllr Tommy Annesley said: 'The Avoca River is the most polluted in Ireland, between raw sewerage and the Avoca Mines. It was proposed many years ago that it would be cleared up. I wonder what the current situation is and what sort of costing would be required?'

Cllr Pat Fitzgerald said the river had been clearly deteriorating for the past number of decades.

'Back in the 1980s you could swim in it. Now, if you did go for a swim, you would come out a different colour.'

He added that even sub-aqua divers were reluctant to swim in the river.

Mr Sexton replied that the proposal Cllr Annesley was referring to involved two options - a quick fix and a proper fix - both of which would cost hundreds of millions. While the biology around the river has improved, fish numbers are still bad. After heavy rain, flushes of pollution still enter the river.

Bray People