More funding is needed for Irish Water to tackle the discharge of raw sewage into the environment says Galway-Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The EPA’s Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2018 report released this week noted that 36 different towns and villages are still discharging raw sewage into waterways.
That list includes Carraroe, Roundstone, and Spiddal villages in Galway.
It also noted that significant improvements are needed in relation to waste water treatment, particularly at 21 large towns and cities.
Commenting on the contents of the report, Michael Fitzmaurice said “I have highlighted the problem of raw sewage being released into the environment a number of times in the past.”
“I agree that improvements need to be made across the board, but the necessary funding needs to be made available.”
“It is easy for the EPA to call on Irish Water to speed up the delivery of critical infrastructure, but unless it has the funds required to do so, how is it expected to meet those demands?”
Irish Water is currently advancing plans for new sewage treatment plants in Carraroe and Spiddal, though those projects have run into local opposition due to their choice of locations.
Deputy Fitzmaurice said that it is important to remember that Irish Water was only established in 2013, and that the problems its facing go back much further than that.
“It makes no sense to kick Irish Water about this issue or to fine it, as it is making strides to improve the infrastructure.”
“But unless adequate funds are made available, then of course deadlines are going to be missed. That is just common sense.”
The agency has said that since 2014 it has cut the discharge of untreated wastewater by 44 percent, and spent €230 million in infrastructure last year.
Treatment plants at 20 locations around the country were either upgraded or built from scratch last year.