Students of Belmont National School, Milltown were joined by community groups, local councillors, TDs, Minister of State Seán Canney, the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Councillor Michael Connolly and representatives of Irish Water at a community event on Monday (December 19) to mark the investment by Irish Water in a new wastewater treatment plant for the area.

Irish Water invested €5.6 million building two new wastewater treatment plants in Milltown and Claregalway which were officially opened by Minster of State for OPW and Flood Relief Seán Canney TD earlier this month.

Today’s event recognised the community effort that is so prevalent in Milltown and which was intrinsic to the development of this new plant. The local school children were treated to some experiments outlining the importance of water and the complex process involved in making water safe to drink and returning wastewater safely to our waterways.

Prior to the construction of this new plant Milltown had no municipal wastewater treatment facilities and relied on individual treatment systems within housing developments and septic tanks to provide this service. Over time this gave rise to significant environmental issues and a deterioration of the water quality in the River Clare.

The project will greatly improve the water quality of the River Clare and protect the conservation objectives of the River Corrib Special Area of Conservation. The treatment plants will have the capacity to meet the current and future residential and industrial development needs.

Colm Claffey, Irish Water’s Wastewater Programme Regional Lead commented: “For too long there has been serious underinvestment in wastewater services in Ireland as was recently highlighted. We have inadequate treatment processes and in too many cases untreated wastewater being discharged directly into our rivers and seas. Irish Water is delighted that Milltown now has its own wastewater treatment plant which will deliver key environmental benefits, and provide for the protection of the River Clare. The plant will also facilitate the future economic development of the village."

Speaking at Monday’s community event Minister Canney added: "I am delighted that Milltown Sewerage Scheme is now operational. This project is long overdue and it is a great boost for the village. Milltown is a very vibrant village and the completion of the sewerage scheme will give it the potential for further growth."

Minister Canney has also welcomed the fact that there is major investment planned in wastewater treatment plants in Galway East.

Galway County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Connolly, added: “On behalf of Galway County Council I welcome the official opening of this long-awaited modern wastewater treatment plant in Milltown. This is very important to the current residential area in terms of economic development and the possible increases in residential population.

“It is of extreme importance to water quality in the Clare River as most of the drinking water for County Galway comes from Lough Corrib and this will help to increase the overall eco environment of the Clare and Corrib catchment.”

Galway

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