The project will stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough

Irish Water is progressing a project to upgrade the Omeath Sewerage Scheme to stop the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough. Once complete the proposed scheme will improve the water quality in Carlingford Lough benefiting the people that use the Lough and the wildlife that live on the banks of and in the Lough. The cleaner water will enhance the amenity value and support social and economic development in the area. The proposed new wastewater treatment plant, pumping stations and sewer pipes will support the increase in local population and future development in the area. The project will also ensure that the regulated water quality standards are achieved.

The Carlingford Shore is a designated Special Area of Conservation and Carlingford Lough is a proposed National Heritage Area and an important shellfish area. The practice of discharging untreated wastewater to the Lough is no longer acceptable and Irish Water is rectifying this in conjunction with Louth County Council by constructing a new Wastewater Treatment Plant (subject to planning permission), pumping stations (subject to planning permission) and sewer network to ensure that the treated wastewater discharged to Carlingford Lough meets the appropriate standards. The new Wastewater infrastructure will bring benefits to Omeath in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all.

Consultations have been on-going with all landowners identified on the proposed scheme. Irish Water was unable to acquire all of the required wayleaves and lands on a voluntary basis and given the importance of the project Irish Water is now endeavouring to acquire the wayleaves and lands by way of CPO. Irish Water will now be submitting the Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála.

Subsequent to the land acquisition process Irish Water will be seeking planning permission for the Omeath Sewage Scheme from Louth County Council. Subject to the Planning and CPO statutory approvals construction work is expected to commence in early 2019 with project completion in 2021.

The Omeath Sewerage Scheme involves the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant on a greenfield site north of Omeath Village. The new plant will serve a population equivalent of 1,000 with the capacity for future expansion.  The project also includes new foul sewer connections to connect existing wastewater pipes, the construction of a new main pumping station at Shore Road and rising main to transfer wastewater to the new plant. A new outfall pumping station and outfall rising main will bring the treated discharge to the outfall. Work will be carried out to upgrade and extend the existing outfall pipe which will allow the safe discharge of treated wastewater into Carlingford Lough.

Commenting on the project Paul Fallon, Infrastructure Programme Manager with Irish Water said “Irish Water is pleased to be progressing the Omeath Sewerage Scheme. The next stage is to submit a Compulsory Purchase Order to An Bord Pleanála to acquire the necessary lands for the project. Stopping the discharge of untreated wastewater into Carlingford Lough is a priority for Irish Water. The proposed scheme will protect the environment by improving the water quality in the Lough for residents and tourists that visit the area and the wildlife that live in and around the Lough.  Irish Water is committed to delivering this project and will keep the community informed at each stage of the project”.

Irish Water spent over €525 million on water services in 2017. Capital investment in the region of €700 million per year is needed for a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s Business Plan up to 2021. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021 while achieving efficiencies of €1.6bn.


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