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19 large towns & cities have failed to meet EU standards to prevent pollution

That's according to the EPA


Two local areas are being hailed as an example to others across the country where Irish Water have successfully addressed issues.

An Environmental Protection Agency report out today is highlighting how 113 areas, including Nurney, Tullow & Freshford, have been found to need priority action in order to protect public health & the environment.

Nine further towns & villages were named as where waste water’s considered the main significant pressure on water bodies at risk of pollution, among them Johnstown & Goresbridge.

But Senior Inspector with the EPA Noel Byrne says there’s now good news for both of those telling KCLR News this morning “Goresbridge & Johnstown they got new wastewater treatment plants installed and now actually they’ve been removed off our priority list because the issue’s been addressed and the rivers in those areas now have returned to good standard which is really what we wanted to see and it kinda shows when Irish Water do invest, they have the expertise, they can deliver and in those two areas, Goresbridge & Johnstown, they have new plants, and now you see the rivers recover and that’s what we want to see for the other areas”.

He adds there’s also some good news for Tullow where the treatment upgrade, though delayed, is now set to go ahead in the second quarter of 2021 for completion by the end of 2022.

Mr Byrne says while they’re happy to hear the works are going ahead, his organisation still has some concerns saying “We do see delays, some of these projects before they get to construction and we need Irish Water to address those concerns but it is good to see that Tullow’s happening, from Nurney’s prospective there we haven’t yet got a proper plan from Irish Water of how they’re going to addresss the problems with the treatment plant in Nurney and that’s a level of uncertanty and it’s not alone in that, there’s 23 other areas where waste water is a significant threat to water quality and we need to see Irish Water putting plans in place for these so that people in these areas they have the certainty, they know when the works are going to be done then obviously Irish Water need to deliver on them”.

Earlier story:

Raw sewage is flowing into the environment from 35 towns and villages every day.

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency has highlighted 113 locations where Irish Water needs to prioritise wastewater treatment to protect public health and the environment.

Three of these are in our area: Nurney & Tullow in county Carlow & Freshford in county Kilkenny.

Of 48 areas where the EPA identified waste water discharges as the main significant pressure on water bodies at risk of pollution two are in Carlow, the Ballynaboley Stream in Nurney and Slaney in Tullow, with the Nuenna in Freshford, Kilkenny.

While Johnstown & Goresbridge are among nine towns & villages where waste water’s considered the main significant pressure on water bodies at risk of pollution.

The report also found that 19 large towns and cities, including Dublin and Cork, have failed to meet EU standards to prevent pollution.

Senior Inspector with the EPA, Noel Byrne, says despite some improvements, Irish Water has repeatedly revised its plans to fix infrastructure issues noting “There’s been delays and uncertainties in Irish Water’s planning & delivery of projects and this is prolonging the risks to the environment & public health which is a concern so, as an example, two years ago Irish Water advised that 30 of the 35 raw sewage discharges would be eliminated by 2021 now this is being revised down to just two areas will be eliminated by 2021 so raw sewage is just going to continue from 33 of these areas”.