Kinsale residents kick up a stink with Irish Water over noxious water plant

September 13th, 2021 5:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Local resident Adrian McLaughlin and his neighbours in Springmount in Kinsale feel they have no option but to hold their noses outdoors because of the strong smell from a nearby water treatment plant. (Photo: John Allen)

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RESIDENTS of an estate in Kinsale are calling for Irish Water to urgently tackle a ‘noxious’ smell  coming from a nearby waste water treatment plant.

The smell has got progressively worse over the summer and some residents of Springmount are even considering moving.

Resident Adrian McLaughlin said that it’s not a new problem either and has been there for four to five years at least.

‘We’re very close to the waste water treatment plant so we get it first and it depends on which way the winds blows,’ said Adrian.

Recently the residents and Cork South West TD Holly Cairns held a meeting with Irish Water representatives about the ongoing problem.

‘We didn’t really get any positive outcome from this meeting and I was quite disappointed with it. They said they will look into other areas to see what is causing this but we’ve been through all this before,’ added Adrian.

He said the bad odour isn’t down to the warm weather that we had this summer.

‘It’s awful and comes right into the house and it’s there for the night then. Last week, we had it for three nights in a row and we had to light candles and incense to burn it out.’

Adrian and his frustrated neighbours set up a WhatsApp group in July to log instances of the smell.

‘We don’t even know if we are smelling something toxic and you would be retching from it. We might be outside in the garden and suddenly we’re packing up and going inside and visitors to the house don’t know what to expect.’

Deputy Holly Cairns told The Southern Star that Irish Water keep saying the investigation is ongoing but it’s becoming frustrating for residents at this stage.

‘People don’t keep logging complaints with them for the craic. They do it because there clearly is a problem. We don’t need continued investigations, we need action now,’ said Deputy Cairns.

‘This is having a massive impact on the quality of life and well-being in the community and it’s not good enough that people are treated like this and this is just one of many examples of Irish Water’s shortcomings.’

Deputy Cairns said she is arranging follow-up meetings with Irish Water and residents to get clarity on issues relating to possible dumping of waste from a third party into the waste water treatment plant, as well as other issues.

An Irish Water spokesperson said it would like to apologise to the communities of the affected areas and reassure them that the matter is being prioritised.

‘Investigations continue to ensure all aspects of the processes on site are evaluated and a number of actions were identified to ensure the malodour would be dealt with as quickly as possible.

‘These include a review of the current operation of the waste water treatment plant and continuous monitoring and testing of it, and also examining to see if there are any associated issues with discharges into the network.’

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