Irish Water, working in partnership with Donegal County Council, is this morning meeting with Donegal TDs and Gweedore Councillors for a briefing on the innovative solution being put forward for the Gweedore Sewerage Scheme.

Irish Water has identified a solution, which has been used successfully in several other countries, for the provision of sewerage treatment services for the residents and businesses of Gweedore. The solution will meet the needs of the local community and ensure compliance with the Urban Waste Water Directive.

Following extensive investigations Irish Water has determined that due to the specific ground conditions and the dispersion of homes in the Gweedore area, a traditional waste water network would not work. Having examined all possible alternatives the utility is proposing to install a pressure sewer system which will allow for the use of an existing waste water treatment plant in the area which Irish Water will take ownership of and upgrade. This solution will ensure that houses and businesses in the Gweedore area can be connected to this public system regardless of location.

Leading today’s briefing is Irish Water’s Sustainability Policy & Innovations Lead, Mark O’Callaghan, “Gweedore has been identified as not having adequate collection system and treatment of wastewater and is listed as one of the areas that Ireland may be prosecuted for non-compliance with the Urban Wastewater Directive under a European Court of Justice Infringement Case.

The provision of a collected sewerage system for Gweedore is enormously challenging from a technical and cost perspective. This is due to the dispersed nature of homes and businesses in the area as well as the difficult topography and ground conditions.  Irish Water has worked with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and Donegal County Council to investigate all possible technical and economically viable options. A solution has been identified that we feel best meets the needs of the community.”

Mr O’Callaghan added “This system is also capable of expanding to accommodate any future domestic, business and commercial connections, as required, supporting the future economic growth of the region while ensuring the water quality in Gweedore Bay is protected and improved.”

To progress the implementation of this system Irish Water will, with local co-operation, proceed with a demonstration project involving 20 to 30 houses which will be operated and monitored for a period of eight to 12 months. This will give the stakeholders an opportunity to see the system in action. This will be followed by a roll out of the main scheme which will have the benefit of any learnings from the demonstration project.   

Irish Water and Donegal County Council will meet with the local community and representative groups in the coming weeks in relation to the proposed scheme and the demonstration project and will provide updates as the scheme progresses.


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