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Tuesday, 14th September 2021

Irish Water response to complaints about odours inadequate says EPA

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The waste water treatment plant overlooking the Boyne River.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has told Irish Water that it’s responses to recent public complaints about odours from the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) on the Marsh Road are inadequate and do not properly address the specific concerns raised. 

They have alsoo instructed Irish Water to take all steps necessary to ensure that the Drogheda WWTP does not continue to give rise to nuisance through odours.

The EPA also say that Irish Water  need to fully investigate each complaint and improve communications with members of the public who complain about odours.

“In the last two months an EPA Inspector has carried out five odour assessment investigations in the community followed by inspections at the WWTP” an EPA spokesperson revealed to Deputy Fergus O’Dowd.

“These inspections have focused on late night and early morning periods as outlined by members of the public as the most frequent times for odours” he added.

During the latest inspection, on the night of Tuesday 7th September the EPA inspector confirmed the presence of odours associated with the activities occurring at the Drogheda WWTP at two locations in the community. 

Following this, the EPA reiterated to Irish Water the need to take all steps necessary to ensure Drogheda waste water treatment plant does not give rise to nuisance through odours.

The results of an independent odour source audit, odour monitoring and odour modelling report the EPA requested from Irish Water are due to be submitted to the EPA by 30/09/2021.

The EPA directed Irish Water to ensure the report quantified and ranked the odour sources for the entire site.

“This will help inform the need for any further work needed to address any odour sources at the WWTP” the spokesperson said.

Commenting on the EPA update, local TD Fergus O’Dowd said that it was evident that, not only are the odours still evident but the reporting/complaints process that Irish Water employ is not sufficient and that each complaint now needs to be investigated.

“I have separately written to Minister Darragh O’Brien in respect of the direction that was issued to Irish Water by the EPA in March.

“This must not be allowed to continue following the numerous failed attempts to address the issue.”

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