Sewage Facilities Below Treatment Standard

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38 of Ireland’s Largest Sewage Discharges Fail to Meet Treatment Standard, Discharge of raw and inadequately treated sewage impacts on the environment, including popular bathing waters

The EPA Urban Waste Water Report 2013, released, shows that significant improvement is needed in the infrastructure and management of waste water from Ireland’s towns and villages.  Commenting on the report Mr. Gerard O’Leary, Director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,

“Ireland adopted the European Directive on urban waste-water treatment 20 years ago. The roadmap laid out in this was intended to protect the environment from the adverse effects of sewage.  The 38 urban centres that fail to meet the required standard place the health of people and the environment at risk.  The reasons for the failures range from, in some instances a complete absence of infrastructure to treat sewage, in others, inadequate infrastructure, and in further instances, poor management and operation of infrastructure.”

Some key findings of the report on infrastructure:

  • Nine large urban areas did not meet the Directive requirement to provide secondary treatment.
  • Eight large urban areas did not meet the Directive requirement to provide infrastructure to reduce nutrients and did not meet nutrient quality standards.
  • 44 areas had no waste water treatment and are discharging raw sewage.
  • 50% of 350 infrastructural improvements required in EPA licences before the end of 2013 were not completed.

Some key findings on the management and operation of plants:

  • 71% of the 441 plants with secondary treatment achieved the minimum standard, up 17% since 2009.
  • 37% of incidents were attributed to issues surrounding operation and maintenance.
  • 45 audits found that a maintenance programme for plants and equipment was not in place

Details can be seen at EPA Website 

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