Irish Water today welcomed the production of the EPA report on urban wastewater in Ireland. The EPA report reflects how years of under investment in wastewater infrastructure has meant that in many parts of the country the water system is not fit for purpose and effluent is being discharged that is not properly treated.

Irish Water will manage water services as one national asset, and the operation and maintenance of wastewater facilities in Ireland will be standardised in order to improve performance.

Irish Water estimates that €10 billion of investment is needed in the period to 2027 across the water system in Ireland to address these issues.

“Significant investment in upgrades and maintenance is required to prevent wastewater from impacting on the health of communities and the environment in Ireland”, said Elizabeth Arnett, Head of Communications and Corporate Services, Irish Water.

“Irish Water now has the opportunity to properly address these issues resulting from years of underinvestment and to deliver a system, which over time will ensure safe supplies of drinking water and adequate waste water treatment for all users of the public system in Ireland”, she continued.

Irish Water recognises that significant numbers of schemes can be brought into compliance by improved operation, upgraded sampling and monitoring equipment and minor process improvements. To that end, Irish Water is developing a programme of works to tackle these issues and expects to make rapid progress in this area.

Details of Irish Water projects underway:
• The contract for Clifden will commence by summer 2014
• Tenders have been invited for waste water treatment upgrades in Bundoran and Killybegs
• A single scheme for all of the Cork Lower Harbour towns is progressing towards tender later this year.

Irish Water can confirm that, subject to adequate funding being available, waste water treatment projects in the majority of the major urban areas will be progressed by 2015.

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