Forms part of a €4.2 million investment by Irish Water

Irish Water working in partnership with Galway County Council celebrated the official opening of the Oughterard Wastewater Treatment Plant today (Tuesday) with Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development Seán Kyne TD, and Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Councillor Eileen Mannion.

Works have been completed on much needed upgrades to the Oughterard Sewerage Scheme, including the construction of a brand new treatment plant on a green field site, as part of a €4.2 million investment by Irish Water.

The previous wastewater treatment plant in Oughterard was originally constructed in the early 1970s and catered for a population equivalent of 500. But the new plant has increased capacity to cater for a population equivalent of 2,400 making it a vital piece of infrastructure for future population and economic growth in Oughterard.

Works will ensure environmental compliance

The works, which have now been completed, will ensure wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, and conditions set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.

One of the major benefits of this project is that it will improve water quality in the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib, areas of ecological importance as one of the most important freshwater pearl mussel rivers in Ireland.

Upgrade will support future population and economic growth

Speaking at today’s official opening, Colm Boyd, Wastewater Treatment Programmes Regional Lead, said “This upgrade will bring far reaching benefits to this thriving town located at the gateway to Connemara by ensuring future population and economic growth can be facilitated. The environmental benefits are also hugely important given the sensitivity of the receiving waters of the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib. We are delighted to be officially opening this facility today for the benefit of the local community and many tourists that visit the area.”

The contract to carry out the works, which was signed by Irish Water in 2016, was undertaken by Glan Agua Limited, based in Loughrea, and took 12 months to complete.

"We have waited decades for this day..."

Minister Kyne, who cut the ribbon on the new wastewater treatment plant today, added “We have waited decades for this day and as Minister I’m very pleased to have played a part in its delivery. This is a great day for Oughterard and its future development potential. This investment is positive news for this area in Connemara and residents, businesses and visitors to the town will reap the benefits for many years to come. This plant will make a huge difference to the water quality of Lough Corrib, a prime brown trout fishery in the Irish and European context.”

Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Eileen Mannion, added “This €4.2 million investment for Oughterard is very welcome and will allow the wastewater to be discharged in a safe manner. Investments such as this are vital to ensure Co Galway can develop into the future.”

€700 million per year needed over several decades to address poor condition of Ireland’s water infrastructure.

Irish Water spent over €526 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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