16/02/2012

Half Of Ireland's Treatment Plants Below Standard

Almost 50% of Ireland’s wastewater treatment plants are failing to achieve national and EU standards, according to a report released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This report is the first review of the operation of wastewater treatment plants at 529 urban areas since they became subject to a new licensing regime being rolled out by the EPA.

Among the main findings are that 46% of wastewater treatment plants did not meet all wastewater quality standards or EPA guidelines.

Meanwhile, eleven large urban areas do not meet the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) requirement to have secondary treatment in place.

These include, Bray and Ringaskiddy where the provision of treatment is now ten years overdue; Clifden, where the old plant is impacting on bathing water; and Moville where discharges are causing serious pollution to the River Bredagh.

Commenting on the report Gerard O’Leary, Programme Manager, in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “This level of performance is poor and needs to improve. In order to meet EU targets further investment in infrastructure is required and we need a step change in the operation and maintenance of these valuable assets.”

Also commenting on the Report, Dara Lynott, Director, Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “Meeting our EU targets will require substantial and sustained investment. However, the benefits of such investment extend beyond water quality, as clean water is a pre-requisite for our tourism, food, agriculture and manufacturing industries.”

(DW)

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