Raw sewage entering the sea near Kilmore Quay is to become a thing of the past after plans announced by Irish Water to deliver a sewage treatment scheme for the area. According to Irish Water, the project will prevent the discharge of the equivalent of 1,600 wheelie bins of untreated sewage being discharged into the sea daily in a development that has been long awaited by residents.
Currently, sewage entering the Kilmore Quay public sewer network is being discharged, without treatment, into the Eastern Celtic. These discharges are in extremely close proximity to Kilmore Quay Harbour and marina, amenity waters and the Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve, something which has the potential to negatively impact tourism to the picturesque seaside village.
'The discharge of raw sewage is not sustainable as it threatens water quality and detracts from the amenity value of the coastal waters in the area,' a spokesperson for Irish Water said.
A recent information evening at the Stella Maris Centre laid out a plan for locals which includes a new wastewater treatment plant, new below ground pumping stations and above ground kiosks, the laying of pipelines to transfer sewage from pumping stations to the treatment plant and a new treated wastewater pipeline to discharge treated wastewater from the treatment plant.
Planning permission is to be sought by the end of the year, before the project goes to tender and construction is to get under way next year.
Local councillor Jim Moore says that, while it's taken some time, he's delighted to see the project get to this point and he is looking forward to seeing a spade in the ground.
'The community down here has been campaigning for this for over 30 years,' he said. 'It is hugely important and a welcome piece of infrastructure. Really it's essential for the future development of the village and general area. Going back 20 years there's been developments halted due to a lack of this infrastructure. The challenge now is to build on this and manage future development to encompass commercial and residential and get the balance right.'
Kilmore Quay is one of four 'black-spots' which Irish Water has identified and aims to address in Co Wexford along with Duncannon, Ballyhack and Arthurstown.