'Three Olympic sized swimming pools' of raw untreated sewage are discharged daily into Irish waters, a report by the EPA has concluded.
The body’s annual Urban Waste Water Treatment report found that 26 towns and villages raw sewage are affected by daily raw sewage discharges and that EU waste water treatments are not being met in 15 towns and cities - including Dublin and Cork.
“These 15 areas collectively discharge more than half of Irish Water sewage - so we’re not meeting the standards there,” EPA Programme Manager Noel Byrne said.
“Uisce Éireann still do not have clear plans in place to prevent pollution on some of our most significantly impacted water bodies.
“So, it’s vital these are resolved and Uisce Éireann will have the opportunity in their next investment plan to resolve these.
“So, they need to take that and bring those to resolution.”
. @IrishWater still does not have clear plans to prevent pollution from wastewater discharges at some of the most significantly impacted water bodies, and it is vital these are resolved through its new investment plan. More: https://t.co/cKKXfwtI6m pic.twitter.com/syRkRzxTtj
— EPA Ireland (@EPAIreland) October 26, 2023
The report concluded it would take billions of euro and “at least two decades” to bring water water treatment standards up to scratch.
'In the next decade'
Responding to Newstalk, Uisce Éireann's Michael Tinsley said he thought significant improvements would be made before 2043.
“There’s a new Planning Bill going before the Oireachtas and we’re hoping that will bring in some improvements,” he said.
“Some of our projects face appeals and judicial reviews which delay [them].
“But overall, if we can grow year on year and grow in a sustainable way, we will address the majority of the outstanding issues in the next decade.”
Main image: Large spill of untreated sewage flowing straight into the waters of the Dublin bay from Ringsend Wastewater Plant. Picture by: Alamy.com