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Spiddal signs off on 2023 with successful launch of wastewater treatment plant

27 November 2023

When the reviews of 2023 are written in the coming days Spiddal will certainly feature in the Galway edition. 

2023 is the year that Uisce Éireann’s work to eliminate raw sewage from the village into Galway Bay has come to fruition and last Friday saw the official launch of the new wastewater treatment plant which will improve the lives of locals and visitors alike. 

Uisce Éireann was joined by local representatives who saw first-hand the state-of-the-art treatment being provided for wastewater in the picturesque village and they discussed the significant benefits in terms of protecting the environment and improving water quality in the bay for swimming, surfing, fishing and boating. 

Not only has the new treatment plant eliminated the discharge of raw sewage but it is an enabler for housing and will support economic growth and development in the area. 

Uisce Éireann’s Paul Fallon paid tribute to the team who brought the significant project to life. 

It’s fitting that we are seeing out the end of the year with a celebration here in Spiddal. Eliminating the discharge of raw sewage into Galway Bay has always been a priority for Uisce Éireann and we are proud to be ending this practice, safeguarding the local environment and enhancing tourism opportunities for this beautiful part of the country."

We say a big thank you to the local community including Udarás na Gaeltachta, Spiddal Craft and Design Studios, Danu Media, Stiuideo Cuan Teo as well as Scoil Einne for their ongoing support and patience throughout the delivery of this vital project.

Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Cllr Liam Carroll spoke of his pride at seeing the plant up and running. He commended the team at Uisce Éireann and Galway County Council who worked together as they navigated the project. 

This is a vital piece of infrastructure for the locality and all those involved in getting us here today deserve our gratitude. The value of a reliable wastewater service, in a manner that protects the natural environment, cannot be over emphasised. This plant is essential to the economic and social development of this area.” 

The €4m project includes the new wastewater treatment plant for a population equivalent of up to 1,000, a 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, working on behalf of Uisce Éireann, delivered the works. 

The completion of this project marks another major milestone in Uisce Éireann’s work to end the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated sewage into our waterways and seas. Spiddal is among 28 towns and villages around the country benefiting today from cleaner waters and enhanced amenities due to the construction of new treatment plants where none existed previously. 

There are currently 11 more locations under construction including Ahascragh in Co Galway which will eliminate raw sewage discharging into the Bunowen (Ahascragh) River. This means that over 70% of all raw sewage discharges nationwide have now been eliminated, with the majority of the remainder set to end by 2025. 

Uisce Éireann 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.