Irish Water today marked the official opening of two Wastewater Treatment Plants in Co Galway following a €5.6 million investment by the national utility. Two brand new plants at Milltown and Claregalway were officially opened by Seán Canny TD, Minister of State for OPW and Flood Relief.

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. Over time this gave rise to significant environmental issues and a deterioration of the water quality in the River Clare.

Cllr Frank Kearney; Cathaoirleach of Galway Co Co Cllr Michael Connolly; Colm Claffey, Irish Water and Eunan Canavan, Irish Water. The plants were officially opened by Minister of State Seán Canney

The project will 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.

Colm Claffey, Irish Water’s Wastewater Programme Regional Lead commented: “For too long there has been serious underinvestment in wastewater services in Ireland as was recently highlighted. We have inadequate treatment processes and in too many cases untreated wastewater being discharged directly into our rivers and seas. Irish Water is delighted to be officially opening these two wastewater treatment plants for the communities of Milltown and Claregalway today. 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.”

Speaking at the official opening Minister Canney said: “I am delighted the Claregalway and Milltown Sewerage Schemes have reached completion. It has been a long road but these much needed plants are now operational. Those plants will provide the impetus for future growth and development and will also have a very positive impact on the environment.”

Galway County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Connolly, added: “On behalf of Galway County Council I welcome the official opening of these two modern wastewater treatment plants in Milltown and Claregalway. These are 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.”

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.


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