Stock photo of a wastewater discharge to a watercourse.

Kilcormac wastewater discharges highlighted by EPA

Kilcormac is one of the areas highlighted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as requiring priority action to improve wastewater discharges.

The EPA says wastewater treatment in Kilcormac should be improved, as a matter of priority, to prevent discharges from harming rivers.

The warning came as the EPA said that poorly treated sewage continues to impact on the quality of rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

Just half (51 per cent) of Ireland’s sewage was treated to the European Union standards set to protect our environment, well below the EU average of 90 per cent, the EPA annual wastewater treatment report for 2021 found.

The EPA said Irish Water had no clear plan to improve treatment at 27 priority areas.

Whilst stating that investment in wastewater infrastructure is delivering improvements to priority areas identified, the EPA says treatment at many areas is still not as good as it needs to be.

It said Irish Water has not allocated resources in its investment plan to complete improvements at these areas. Irish Water must provide for all improvements needed at these areas in its next investment plan, which covers the period 2025-2029.

Irish Water, however, defended its record and said that since 2014 when it assumed responsibility for public water services, 60% of raw sewage discharges by volume have been eliminated through targeted investment in new sewerage infrastructure where none existed previously.

It said in Offaly investment in wastewater infrastructure in Edenderry has led to improvements in water quality, while also supporting housing and economic development in these areas.