Tuesday 22 January 2019

Villages feeling the pressure with no waste water capacity in area

Sara Gahan

Some north Wexford villages are under quite a bit of pressure and can't expand their community due to no waste water capacity in the area.

According to Irish Water in a letter to Cllr Malcolm Byrne, there is currently no waste water capacity in Camolin and Ballycanew due to over-loading and compliance issues; there is currently limited capacity at Coolgreany due to compliance issues with its Waste Water Discharge Authorisations; and there is water capacity in Kilmuckridge to meet the projected demand.

Irish Water have said that, in preparing for the next investment plan, they have assessed the capital needs for Ballycanew, Camolin, Coolgreany and Kilmuckridge Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs). But, it will not be known if WWTPs will be selected in the next investment plan until the Commission of Regulation of Utilities have approved the investment plan which is expected will conclude during 2019.

'While some of the plans for investment in improved waste water are welcome, we need to keep the pressure up to ensure this happens,' said Cllr Byrne. 'Villages in North Wexford will not be able to develop unless this investment happens.'

At present, the only really scope for significant growth is in Gorey town. Cllr Byrne said that is not in the best interests of sustainable growth in the entire North Wexford area.

An upgrade of Ferns Waste Water Treatment Plant is included in the current Irish Water investment plan. It is expected that Ferns (North) will be connected to Ferns (South) by circa 2024. An upgrade of Ferns (South) treatment plant will also be completed as part of this project. At the moment, Ferns is served by two Waste Water Treatment Works. Ferns (North) is a small primary treatment plant which has no space capacity. Ferns (South) currently has limited spare capacity due to compliance issues with its Waste Water Discharge Authorisation.

Ballygarrett is one of many small villages in county Wexford where WWTPs only serve Local Authority (LA) housing. The rest of the villages are serviced by septic tanks and Developer Provided WWTPs. In some cases, the LA houses are serviced by communal septic tanks or package plants, but in other cases the LA houses have individual septic tanks in the back yard and a communal percolation are in open space. Irish Water is only responsible for granting permission to connect to its own infrastructure.

In relation to water capacity, Irish Water records indicate that there are adequate water supplies at Camolin, Ferns, Coolgreany and Kilmuckridge to post 2025. In the long term, some of these schemes may be rationalised to the Gorey Regional Water Supply Scheme. Ballycanew is currently connected to the Gorey RWSS which is currently being developed under a significant infrastructure project. There are currently no plans to develop additional water supply capacity at Ballygarrett or Craanford.

Gorey Guardian