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Drogheda locals 'deeply frustrated' by frequent stench of sewage

"An eggy smell". "Like manure". "Think of sewage". "It smells like poo". These are just some of t...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.54 20 Aug 2021


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Drogheda locals 'deeply frustr...

Drogheda locals 'deeply frustrated' by frequent stench of sewage

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.54 20 Aug 2021


Share this article


"An eggy smell". "Like manure". "Think of sewage". "It smells like poo".

These are just some of the ways residents in Drogheda have described a particular smell that has proven an unpleasant nuisance in the Co Louth town during recent springs and summers.

Locals say the smell's so strong they're not able to open their windows on warm nights, with some saying it even sometimes wakes them up early in the morning.

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It's not only an unpleasant odour for residents, but also proving inconvenient for businesses such as restaurants who are trying to offer outdoor dining facilities.

Labour TD Ged Nash told Newstalk Breakfast's Sarah Madden the smell is associated with the wastewater treatment plant operated by Irish Water, although the exact cause of the problem hasn't been found yet.

Drogheda locals 'deeply frustrated' by frequent stench of sewage

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He explained: “The smell isn’t present all of the time - it often depends on which way the wind is blowing. It causes a particular problem at night, which is deeply frustrating for residents in certain parts of the town.

“The primary source of the problem hasn’t been identified as of yet. That’s unacceptable to me, as this isn’t the first year or first summer that this has been a problem.

"It has been a problem for a number of years now.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has gotten involved, ordering Irish Water to stop the nuisance smell.

For now, however, people in Drogheda are still finding themselves having to put up with a foul odour - with some residents saying it seems to be getting worse.

One local told Sarah the smell kicks in at 11pm "every night", almost as if a switch had been flicked to turn it on.

Deputy Nash said he believes more action will be needed if the issue isn’t dealt with urgently.

He said: “My view is they need to identify what the source is within the next few weeks.

“There are a number of actions the EPA can take - including fines and other sanctions against Irish Water. It may be necessary at this point to do that.

“It’s completely unacceptable and has been going on for far too long.

"A rap on the knuckle isn't enough."

Some residents say they've phoned Irish Water many times about the issue

In a statement, Irish Water said all calls are followed up on and investigated.

They also say improvements are planned to upgrade the plant, accounting for all the population growth Drogheda has seen in recent times.

A spokesperson said those plans are now being designed, and they'll hopefully be moving to the construction phase shortly.

Main image: File photo of Drogheda. Picture by: The Irish Image Collection/Zuma Press/PA Images

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