Benefits of new Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wexford outlined in video campaign

15 October 2021

Irish Water has produced a series of new videos to outline the benefits and progress being made to eliminate raw sewage discharged into our waterways in locations across the country. The first video, which will go live on Tuesday October 19 focuses on Wexford and as the drone footage rolls across the estuary of the three sisters; the Barrow, Nore and Suir, the unmistakable beauty of the area is immediately clear for all to see.

Thousands have flocked to the beautiful village of Arthurstown in the townland of Coleman in south Wexford for many decades and its neighbouring Duncannon and Ballyhack are also popular seaside destinations, but there was always one problem. Poorly treated sewage was being discharged into the sea for decades, blemishing the inimitable beauty of these amazing coastal gems. But that is soon set to change with a new wastewater treatment plant being built in Arthurstown that will cater for all three settlements.

Lorraine Waters is the Manager of the Hook Lighthouse and Heritage Centre and is one of the local contributors in the video;

There are 19 local beaches in a ten-mile radius here. It’s absolutely incredible. And that’s why, you know, why we were so excited when we heard that this new wastewater treatment plant was in the pipeline and that would ensure that, as we’re advertising our area that we know that we are giving that quality of water. At the end of the day, its why people are coming down here, that wide open space. It’s that beautiful clear water.

Caroline Helfer of Hooked Kitesurfing and is passionate about water sports;

I think it’s a great thing they are doing and its important, especially for such a small country that’s very very much focused on water activity and surrounded by it [water]. Water quality is very important for everybody. Our kiting lessons are in the water, so our students end up properly fully submerged in the water, so when there’s a problem, we have to warn the students that there is a health risk attached to them doing the activity at the time. If there was a Blue Flag beach here, it would bring in additional tourism activity. It would probably bring in additional businesses to the area. From a revenue point of view, tourism itself, for the economy, it would make a huge impact

The new wastewater treatment plant will have the capacity to cater for a population equivalent of nearly 2,000 people and will protect the integrity of the environment.

And there was more good news for Wexford too with a contract due to be signed in the coming weeks for a Wastewater Treatment Plant at Kilmore Quay with works set to begin in early 2022. That project is due for completion in 2023.

Across the bay in Dunmore East and all along the Waterford coastline, the practice of discharging raw sewage into the waterways has been eliminated since 2017. The investment of €24 million there delivered seven new wastewater treatment plants in towns and villages across Co. Waterford including Ardmore, Ballyduff/Kilmeadan, Cappoquin, Dunmore East, Kilmacthomas, Stradbally and Tallow.

Sixty percent of the raw sewage entering waterways in Ireland has now been eliminated, with 17 locations complete, and a plan to remove the remainder in the years to come. Irish Water is progressing plans to remove the rest by prioritising the areas where we can make the biggest impacts first. This year, we will start construction in at least 14 locations across the country, with 8 more starting in 2022. We are on track to removing the majority of raw sewage discharges by the end of 2025. The size and scale of this work is significant, with an estimated €650million investment.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.