The results of the Environmental Protection Agency Urban WasteWater Treatment Report for 2016 were released today and found that 50 of the larger towns are not meeting EU standards.
These 50 urban areas were given a deadline of 2005 to comply with EU standards. This means Ireland will now be taken to the European Court of Justice, for failing to treat wastewater properly.
This was not the only revelation of the report, with 44 areas reported to be discharging sewage or untreated wastewater into the environment. Discharges of untreated wastewater from five of
these areas are expected to cease in 2017.
Fifty-nine other areas, where wastewater is a threat to Irish water supplies(rivers, lakes etc), were reported to be at risk of not meeting the Water Framework Directive’s requirement to achieve a good status.
In four urban areas, it was deemed that wastewater contributed to poor quality bathing water. Twelve other areas were found to be in need of improvement of infrastructure, to help protect the local endangered freshwater pearl mussels.
The report found that Improvements are needed in 148 urban areas to address all the priorities listed, in order to comply with EU treatment standards, and eliminate discharges of raw sewage.
The report concluded that significant capital investment was needed, with upgrades necessary in wastewater treatment systems. This in order to avoid heavy financial penalties.