Ministerial visit to Spiddal to see Irish Water’s landmark project

29 April 2022

Inniu lá stairiúil sa Spidéal le cuairt an Aire Darragh O’Brien ar an mbaile le súil a chaitheamh ar an dul chun cinn atá déanta ar an ionad nua cóireála fuíolluisce ann.

Chonaic an tAire Tithíochta, Rialtais Áitiúil agus Oidhreachta lena a dhá shúil féin an obair atá déanta ar thionscadal cinniúnach Uisce Éireann, tionscadal a chuirfidh cóireáil fuíolluisce ar fáil den chéad uair riamh sa Spidéal. 

Beidh buntáistí móra le baint ag muintir na háite as an ionad nua cóireála fuíolluisce agus stáisiúin caidéalúcháin maidir le cosaint na timpeallachta agus le feabhas a chur ar chaighdeán uisce i gCuan na Gaillimhe ar mhaithe le snámh, surfáil, iascach agus bádóireacht. Cuirfidh an tionscadal deireadh le sceitheadh breis is 600 lán araid rothaí de chamrais neamhchóireáilte isteach i gCuan na Gaillimhe gach lá agus ag an am céanna cuirfidh sé borradh faoi chúrsaí tithíochta sa cheantar agus tacóidh sé le fás agus forbairt eacnamaíoch ann.

Mhol an tAire O’Brien Uisce Éireann as an dul chun cinn atá déanta acu ar an tionscadal nuair a dúirt sé: “Tá an-áthas orm a bheith anseo inniu chun an dul chun cinn atá déanta ar an tionscadal seo atá ríthábhachtach don Spidéal a fheiceáil. Beidh an t-ionad nua cóireála uisce seo agus an bonneagar a bhaineann leis ríthábhachtach chun stop a chur le sceitheadh camrais neamhchóireáilte isteach i gCuan na Gaillimhe, chun an timpeallacht a chosaint agus chun tacú le fás agus forbairt sa Spidéal agus sa cheantar máguaird. 

Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag Uisce Éireann agus Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe as an dul chun cinn atá déanta acu ar an tionscadal ríthábhachtach seo, rud a léiríonn a dtiomantas do mhuintir an Spidéil. Tá sé ríthábhachtach d’fhorbairt eacnamaíoch agus shóisialta an cheantair seo go gcuirfear seirbhís iontaofa cóireála fuíolluisce ar fáil i mbealach nach ndéanann dochar don timpeallacht. Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl dóibh siúd a bhí bainteach le dul chun cinn an tionscadail seo agus ba mhaith liom gach rath a ghuí ar an bhfoireann tionscadail agus iad ag obair as lámha a chéile ar an tionscadal fuíolluisce seo a bhfuil géarghá leis.

Dúirt Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe, an Cathaoirleach Peter Keaveney: “Cuirfidh forbairt ríthábhachtach an bhonneagar séarachais seo borradh faoi dheiseanna turasóireachta sa chuid álainn seo den tír. Bhí mar aidhm ag Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe le fada stop a chur le sceitheadh fuíolluisce neamhchóireáilte isteach i gCuan na Gaillimhe, agus is féidir linn anois a bheith ag súil leis na buntáistí uile a bhaineann le timpeallacht níos glaine. Is mór agam an obair a chuir Uisce Éireann isteach i gcomhar le Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe

Ansin, dúirt Patrick Greene, Ceannasaí Réigiúnach um Sheachadadh Sócmhainní le hUisce Éireann: “Tá an-áthas orainn go bhfuil dul chun cinn tráthúil déanta ar an tionscadal seo atá an-tábhachtach do mhuintir an Spidéil. Bhí sé mar thosaíocht ag Uisce Éireann riamh deireadh a chur le sceitheadh camrais neamhchóireáilte isteach i gCuan na Gaillimhe agus táimid ag tnúth le deireadh a chur leis an gcleachtas reatha seo, leis an timpeallacht a chosaint agus le borradh a chur faoi dheiseanna turasóireachta sa chuid álainn seo den tír.

Tá go leor fianaise ann maidir le cé chomh mór agus atá fadhb an chamrais neamhchóireáilte a sceitear isteach inár n-uiscebhealaí. Ó 2014 i leith, thóg Uisce Éireann bonneagar nua fuíolluisce in 17 mbaile agus sráidbhaile ar fud na tíre, rud a chuir deireadh le sceitheadh camrais neamhchóireáilte isteach inár n-aibhneacha, inár lochanna agus inár bhfarraigí; sin cion 100,000 duine, gach lá. 

Bhronn Uisce Éireann 13 chonradh in 2021 le haghaidh deireadh a chur le sceitheadh camrais neamhchóireáilte in áiteanna éagsúla sa tír, an Spidéal ina measc. Tá 2 chonradh eile bronnta againn go dtí seo in 2022 agus tá níos mó fós le bronnadh sna míonna atá amach romhainn. Tá deireadh curtha faoin tráth seo le 60% den chamras neamhchóireáilte a sceitear isteach in uiscebhealaí na hÉireann agus tá gach uile sheans againn go gcuirfear deireadh le formhór mór den mhéid iomlán a sceitear faoi 2025.

Luaigh Patrick freisin, foighne agus comhoibriú mhuintir na háite agus na gcomhlachtaí áitiúla: “Ba mhaith linn ár mbuíochas a chur in iúl do mhuintir an Spidéil lena n-áirítear Údarás na Gaeltachta, Ceardlann an Spidéil, Danú Media, Stiúideo Cuan Teo chomh maith le Scoil Éinne as ucht a dtacaíochta le linn na n-oibreacha. Leanfaimid orainn ag obair leo agus coinneoimid ar an eolas iad agus an tionscadal ríthábhachtach seo á sholáthar againn.

Chosain an tionscadal seo €4 milliún, tionscadal a chuir ionad nua cóireála fuíolluisce den chineál is nua aimseartha ar fáil, ceann atá deartha go speisialta chun cóireáil fuíolluisce a sholáthar do CD (coibhneas daonra) de 1,000, chomh maith le stáisiún nua caidéalúcháin faoi thalamh, píblínte séarachais a dhéanfaidh fuíolluisce neamhchóireáilte a atreorú chuig an stáisiún nua caidéalúcháin agus as sin trí phíobán sceite atá ann cheana chuig an ionad nua cóireála fuíolluisce as a sceithfear fuíolluisce cóireáilte isteach i gCuan na Gaillimhe i gcomhréir leis na rialacháin.

Tá Mott MacDonald agus Coffey Water Limited ag obair thar ceann Uisce Éireann, chun an tionscadal seo a sholáthar, tionscadal a bhfuil súil lena chríochnú in 2023.  

Is céim mhór chun tosaigh an méid oibre atá déanta ag Uisce Éireann ar an tionscadal seo, agus dá bhrí sin ní fada go gcuirfear deireadh leis an gcleachtas do-ghlactha camras neamhchóireáilte a sceitheadh isteach inár n-uiscebhealaí agus inár bhfarraigí. 

Tá oibreacha uasghrádaithe ar siúl freisin ar Ionad Cóireála Fuíolluisce Áth Eascrach le deireadh a chur le sceitheadh fuíolluisce nár cóireáladh ar bhealach sásúil isteach in Abhainn Bhun Abhann. Freastalóidh an t-ionad cóireála fuíolluisce uasghrádaithe ar choibhéis daonra de 470 agus cuirfidh sé stop le breis is 300 lán araid rothaí d’fhuíolluisce nach bhfuil cóireáil shásúil déanta air isteach in Abhainn Bhun Abhann gach lá.

Tá Uisce Éireann freagrach as seirbhísí uisce agus fuíolluisce poiblí uile in Éirinn a sheachadadh. Táimid tiomanta do bhonneagar criticiúil a uasghrádú agus a fhorbairt ar bhonn leanúnach chun tacú leis an bhfás atá riachtanach i dtithíocht agus ar fud ár ngeilleagair, agus an comhshaol á chosaint agus soláthairtí uisce á gcosaint.

Today marks a historic day for Spiddal with a visit from Minister Darragh O’Brien to see progress on the village’s new wastewater treatment plant.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage saw first-hand the work on Irish Water’s landmark project which will provide wastewater treatment for the first time in Spiddal. 

The new treatment plant and pumping station will bring significant benefits to the local community in terms of protecting the environment and improving water quality in Galway Bay for swimming, surfing, fishing and boating. The project will eliminate the discharge of more than 600 wheelie bins of raw sewage into Galway Bay every day while also acting as an enabler for housing and supporting economic growth and development in the area.

Minister O'Brien commended Irish Water for progressing the project saying: “I am delighted to be here today to witness the progress on this vital project for Spiddal. The construction of this new wastewater treatment plant and associated infrastructure is pivotal to stop the discharge of raw sewage into Galway Bay, protect the environment and to support the future growth and development of Spiddal and surrounding areas. 

Irish Water and Galway County Council are to be commended for progressing this vital project as part of its commitment to the people of Spiddal. The provision of a reliable wastewater service, in a manner that protects the natural environment, is essential to the economic and social development of this area. I would like to thank those involved in progressing this project and I would like to wish the project team well as they continue to work together to deliver this much needed wastewater project.

Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Peter Keaveney said: “The delivery of this vital sewerage infrastructure development will lead to enhanced tourism opportunities for this beautiful part of the country. Stopping the discharge of untreated wastewater to Galway Bay has long been a goal of Galway County Council, and we can now look forward to all the benefits of a cleaner environment. I very much welcome the investment from Irish Water in conjunction with Galway County Council.

Patrick Greene, Asset Delivery Regional Lead with Irish Water, added: “We are delighted that works are progressing on schedule on this essential project for the people of Spiddal. Eliminating the discharge of raw sewage into Galway Bay has always been a priority for Irish Water and we look forward to ending this current practice, safeguarding the local environment and enhancing tourism opportunities for this beautiful part of the country.

The size and scale of the challenge of raw sewage discharging into our water ways is well documented. Since 2014, Irish Water has built new wastewater infrastructure for 17 towns and villages across the country, ending the discharge of raw sewage into our rivers, lakes and seas; the equivalent of 100,000 people’s worth, every day. 

Spiddal was one of 13 locations nationwide where Irish Water awarded contracts in 2021 to end the discharge of raw sewage. So far in 2022 we have awarded contracts for 2 additional locations with more to follow in the coming months. 60% of the raw sewage entering waterways in Ireland has now been eliminated and we are on track to fully removing the majority of raw sewage discharges by 2025.

Acknowledging the patience and cooperation of the local community and businesses, Patrick added: “We would like to thank the people of Spiddal including Udarás na Gaeltachta, Spiddal Craft and Design Studios, Danu Media, Stiuideo Cuan Teo as well as Scoil Einne for their ongoing support throughout the works. We’ll continue to work with them and keep them updated as we continue to deliver this vital project.

The project, which represents an investment of €4 million, includes the construction of a new, state of the art, wastewater treatment plant that has been designed to provide wastewater treatment for a PE (population equivalent) of up to 1,000, a new below ground pump station, new sewer pipelines to divert untreated wastewater to the new pumping station and onto the new wastewater treatment plant, and the reuse of the existing outfall pipe to safely discharge treated wastewater to Galway Bay in compliance with regulatory standards.

Mott MacDonald and Coffey Water Limited, are working on behalf of Irish Water, to deliver the project, which is expected to be completed in 2023.  

The progression of this project marks another major milestone in Irish Water’s work to end the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated sewage into our waterways and seas. 

Works are also progressing as part of the upgrade to Ahascragh Wastewater Treatment Plant to end the discharge of inadequately treated wastewater into the Bunowen River. The upgraded wastewater treatment plant will serve a population equivalent of 470 and will stop more than 300 wheelie bins of inadequately treated wastewater being discharged into the Bunowen (Ahascragh) River every day.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.