THE equivalent of 1,700 wheelie bins of raw untreated sewage is being discharged into Bantry Bay every day, which presents a threat to water quality, marine life and human health.
Irish Water, working in partnership with the County Council, is working to advance the Castletownbere Sewerage Scheme, which they say will end what they call ‘the unacceptable practice.’
They are planning to build a new wastewater treatment plant and associated network to ensure that any discharge to the bay meets all appropriate discharge standards. This will help protect the environment and improve water quality in Bantry Bay with many follow-on benefits for local health, the environment, tourism and future growth and development in the area.
Seamus Glynn, Infrastructure Programme Regional Lead, said: ‘This project is of vital importance for Castletownbere.
‘The new sewerage scheme will safeguard the environment and water quality in Bantry bay as well as providing a platform for the future growth and development of Castletownbere village, which is currently constrained by the lack of wastewater treatment.
‘We will continue to engage with the local community as this project progresses with a view to delivering the project with the minimum of disruption, while delivering the maximum benefit to the people of Castletownbere.’
The project will include the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, four pumping stations, gravity sewers and rising mains, and a 100m outfall pipeline to safely discharge treated wastewater.
To date the project team has consulted with the local community, including holding information evenings and meeting local groups to discuss the proposals. Consultations have also been on-going with all landowners identified on the proposed scheme.
Irish Water is now applying to An Bord Pleanála to use or acquire the wayleaves and lands required for this vital project by a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), and has submitted a CPO application to An Bord Pleanála.
The timeline for the commencement of works is subject to the planning and CPO statutory approvals.
For more information on this project see www.water.ie/projects-plans/castletownbere-sewerage-s/