RAW sewage is still being discharged at Castletownbere and Castletownshend and it’s not good enough that the government say it’s an issue for Irish Water.
That’s according to Social Democrats (SD) TD Holly Cairns who has also highlighted a failure of waste water treatment to meet EU standards in Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, Dunmanway, and Skibbereen, which she has described as ‘unacceptable.’
Deputy Cairns was speaking after these issues were included in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Urban Waste Water Treatment 2019 report.
‘I am meeting Irish Water to discuss these issues, as well as the ongoing problems with wastewater treatment in Belgooly and Shannonvale, and the hold up on roadworks on the N71 in Bantry,’ she said.
SD Cllr Ross O’Connell added: ‘There are also many issues not covered such as discharges in Goleen which are of great concern to the community.’ The EPA said this week that Bantry and other areas were left out of the report because it only included towns and villages which don’t already have an existing water treatment plant.
‘Discharges of raw sewage may also occur on occasion if equipment breaks down,’ the EPA added.
‘For example, there was a discharge of untreated waste water from Bantry in February 2020 due to a failure of the pumps in Old Quay pump station.’
However, the discharge of raw sewage into Bantry Bay near the entrance to Bantry House has been commented on regularly at Cork County Council meetings.
Last year Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) pointed out that Bantry may have a new wastewater treatment facility, but raw sewage still goes into the harbour near Bantry House.
Both Cllr Murphy and then-Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said they had been advised that the situation would be resolved when a project to repair and replace parts of the old town drainage system is carried out, although the Council could give no date for that.
The area where the sewage enters the harbour is known as the ‘bathing box’ and is alongside the N71 on the entrance road into town.