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Monday, 19th October 2020

Byrne questions Irish Water’s competence to manage waste water plants

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Councillor James Byrne.

Councillor James Byrne has voiced his continued frustration regarding the smell from the Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Marsh Road in Drogheda that has been ongoing for years.

Such is the level of Byrne’s frustrations with the repeated instances of non-compliance of treatment plants, he is questioning whether or not Irish Water is the competent authority to manage Ireland’s waste water.

“In 2019 and 2020 to date wastewater discharge in Drogheda was non-compliant with the Emissions Limit Values as per their EPA wastewater discharge licence” he said.

“The Office of Environmental Enforcement has not considered revocation of this licence because the regulations do not provide for revocation of a waste water discharge licence.

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“However, the EPA has instructed Irish Water in the strongest terms to take all steps necessary to comply with the emission limit values set in the wastewater licence.

“Irish Water have reported nine emission limit value exceedances to the EPA for 2020 alone for ammonia and total nitrogen. Irish Water were instructed to implement preventative and corrective action to resolve these non-compliances.

“The EPA records indicate that the licensee, Irish Water, has submitted twenty four incidents relating to Emissions Limit Value breaches to the EPA since 2015 when the online enforcement notification system launched.

“Irish Water itself has committed to reducing the risk of foul odours through a series of measures yet the smell is still there. In relation to one of these measures, I have asked Louth County Council to request the results of the ambient odour monitoring in the community taking place over the last few months.

Remarkably similar concerns have been raised on the floor of the Dáil about Irish Water’s management of waste water in other parts of the country so this issue is certainly not confined to Drogheda.

The question has to be asked is Irish Water the competent authority to manage Ireland’s waste water into the future?

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