A Waterford senator has described a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency as shocking.
The Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan says it shows there is a raw sewerage problem in the southeast.
“One of the things that shocked me most is that the deadline to comply with EU directive standards was 2005. This is now 2017, so we’re way behind in Ireland. What shocked me was raw sewerage still being discharged into rivers and seas, Duncannon, Ballyhack, Arthurstown, Kilmore Quay. That’s on the Waterford estuary so it not only impacts on the Wexford side, it also impacts on the Waterford side,” she said.
The report also showed that 50 of Ireland’s major towns and villages – including Portlaw, Dungarvan and Kill in County Waterford – are failing to meet waste-water treatment standards. Senator O’Sullivan says improvements must happen:
“One of the key findings of the report is that Ireland has to invest more in infrastructure and making sure that we comply with EU treatment standards, or eliminating discharge of raw sewerage and of waste-water. It’s incumbent now on the Government to invest in water.”
Grace O’Sullivan says the benefits can be seen in the areas in Waterford which have been given investment. “It means we were able to get a blue flag status, which is a really good quality status of water, particularly in an area like Tramore where you have so much use of the beach in terms of swimming, canoeing and rowing,” she said.