By the Connacht Tribune
Claregalway and Milltown treatment plants open following 5.6 million investment
TWO areas of the county will enjoy a significant improvement in the quality of their drinking water after an investment of €5.6 million was officially unveiled at the weekend.
Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief Sean Canney did the honours as Irish Water marked the official opening of the two new Wastewater Treatment Plants in Milltown and Claregalway.
Prior to the construction of these plants neither Claregalway nor Milltown had municipal wastewater treatment facilities and relied on individual treatment systems within housing developments and septic tanks to provide this service.
And over time this gave rise to significant environmental issues and a deterioration of the water quality in the River Clare.
This new investment is set to greatly improve the water quality of the River Clare and protect the conservation objectives of the River Corrib Special Area of Conservation.
The treatment plants will have the capacity to meet the current and future residential and industrial development needs.
Claregalway is identified in the Galway County Development Plan in the top tier of planned future residential development centres in the county.
Irish Water Wastewater Programme Regional ~~Lead Colm Claffey acknowledged the ‘serious underinvestment’ in wastewater services in Ireland over many decades.
“We have inadequate treatment processes and in too many cases untreated wastewater being discharged directly into our rivers and seas,” he said.
But he added: “Irish Water is delighted to be officially opening these two wastewater treatment plants for the communities of Milltown and Claregalway.
“Both plants will deliver key environmental benefits, will provide for the protection of the River Clare while also facilitating the future economic development of both towns.”
Minister Canney was equally delighted that the Claregalway and Milltown Sewerage Schemes had reached completion.
“It has been a long road but these much needed plants are now operational. Those plants will provide the impetus for the future growth and development and will also have a very positive impact on the environment,”he said.
Galway County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Connolly, described both the Milltown and Claregalway schemes as very important to those two residential areas in terms of economic development and the possible increases in residential population’.
“It is of extreme importance to water quality in the Clare River as most of the drinking water for County Galway comes from Lough Corrib and this will help to improve the overall environmental environs of this water catchment,” he said.
Before the construction works on the new plants commenced 5.2km of a new foul sewer collection system was laid.
As part of the project to construct the new plants four new pumping stations were built along with the upgrade of three existing pumping stations and the connection of housing estates to the new foul sewer collection system.
This project forms part of Irish Water’s investment plan where over €530 million will be invested in upgrading services in 2016 to improve the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The Irish Water Business Plan has earmarked almost €2 billion in improving wastewater quality and capacity up to 2021.
And on the other side of the county, Irish Water and Galway County Council confirmed that the Tully/Tullycross Water Treatment Plant was brought back into full operation before the weekend with no water outages experienced.
Further analysis of plant performance is continuing but consumers are advised that no disruption to water supply is expected.