Waste water plant delivery is 'on track' says Irish Water
Irish Water has said it is on track to deliver on its approved investment plans which will result no areas in the country having any form of untreated wastewater discharge by 2021.
This includes Arklow, where a planning application for a wastewater treatment plant is awaiting a decision from An Bord Pleanála. The construction of the proposed plant is part of a €60m investment in the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Project. Subject to planning consent and procurement, construction is expected to begin by the end of 2019. The provision of a wastewater treatment plant for Arklow is a requirement under both European and national legislation.
The EPA's annual Urban Wastewater Treatment Report points to the progress made by Irish Water in 2017. The utility increased expenditure by 25 per cent to €215 million to ensure the development and delivery of solutions to support the safe return of wastewater to the environment from almost 1.1 million homes throughout Ireland after it has travelled through 30,000 kilometres of public sewers and been treated at 1,100 wastewater treatment plants.
The utility says that it is 'fully committed to meeting the timescales associated with the European Court of Justice Urban Wastewater Treatment Case'.
Since 2016 Irish Water has completed works at 16 locations ensuring compliance with European standards under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. Irish Water has corrective actions in place for 28 sites that failed in 2017. In 12 towns around the country where raw sewage went directly into the water, new wastewater plants have been constructed. There are plans progressing for an additional 38 locations.
Sean Laffey, Head of Asset Management at Irish Water said that wastewater treatment plants have been upgraded or built in 55 locations across the country.
'Progress has been made in Wicklow in recent years,' said Mr Laffey. 'A wastewater treatment plant in Dunlavin was commissioned in 2016, replacing two old, overloaded plants, which improved wastewater treatment processes, and increased treatment capacity, which will allow for future growth in the area,' he said.