30 July 2015 Go back to News
Irish Water approves €313,000 investment to upgrade wastewater treatment plants in West Kerry
Irish Water has approved investment of €313,000 to upgrade wastewater treatment plants in Baile An Fheirtéarigh (Ballyferriter) and Castlegregory. The existing plants are overloaded and unable to adequately treat wastewater, particularly during the busy tourist season. Irish Water is working on the design and development of these projects with Kerry County Council and both upgrade projects are expected to be completed by the middle of 2016. The projects will ensure that effluent is compliant with EU directives and Irish statutory requirements and will improve the environmental quality of receiving waters from both plants.
The wastewater treatment plant in Baile An Fheirtéarigh (Ballyferriter) currently provides primary treatment only with treated effluent from the plant discharged into a small stream, which flows into Smerwick Harbour. By adding secondary treatment to the wastewater treatment plant at Baile An Fheirtéarigh, Irish Water will improve the quality of effluent being discharged into the nearby river and from there into the harbour. The project will deliver many benefits for the Gaeltacht community of Baile An Fheirtéarigh , including a wastewater treatment plant that will cater fully for additional loads during the busy tourist season.
The existing wastewater treatment plant in Castlegregory caters for a population equivalent of 300. Assessments carried out by Irish Water indicate the current population equivalent in Castlegregory is 800. The proposed upgrade will replace the existing overloaded primary treatment with a new increased capacity primary treatment plant, as required by the wastewater discharge licence issued by the EPA. This upgrade will improve the quality of effluent being discharged to the stream adjacent to the plant and from there into Tralee Bay. The protection of water quality in Tralee Bay and the Blue Flag Beach at Maherabeg is a key benefit of this project for County Kerry, helping to maintain Castlegregory as a well-known beautiful coastal destination.
Commenting on the two Projects, Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer at Irish Water said, ‘By investing in these two wastewater treatment plants in West Kerry, Irish Water will provide safe and compliant wastewater treatment for the local community and the influx of tourists who visit County Kerry each year. West Kerry is an area of outstanding natural beauty, where the local economy relies heavily on tourism and by prioritising this investment, Irish Water will provide wastewater infrastructure that can facilitate current and future social and economic development. These projects will significantly enhance water quality in Castlegregory and Baile An Fheirtéarigh for the benefit of locals and tourists alike.’
Mícheál O’Loinsigh, Chairman of Dingle North Shore Tourism Development Committee welcomed the announcement, “These two projects will bring improvements to the environment and water quality along the coastline of West Kerry and we welcome this investment in an area that is a popular holiday destination for tourists from Ireland and abroad each year.”