CONFIRMED: Carlow's wastewater treatment crisis continues with more plants at capacity

This is very worrying

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

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Carlow's wastewater treatment crisis is continuing with confirmation that more plants across the county are at capacity or close to it, as one councillor expresses his concerns over the impact it could have on development. 

Several councillors have now brought up the issue of capacity at wastewater treatment plants from Tullow to Cloneygall.

Now, Carlow Live can reveal that more plants in the Dolmen County are at capacity. 

In an email to Cllr Michael Doran about capacity at Ballinabranna/Raheendoran wastewater treatment capacity, Irish Water said that the current load delivered to Ballinabranna Wastewater Treatment Plant "exceeds the design capacity of the WWTP". 

"There is currently no further treatment capacity available," the email added. 

A similar email in relation to the WWTP in Bagenalstown and Leighlinbridge said: "I can confirm we have received an update advising that the current capacity of Muinebheag and Leighlinbridge is 5,500 PE and the current collected load is 5,212PE." 

Meanwhile at Nurney WWTP, Irish Water received an update from the Asset Strategy Team advising that the current load delivered "exceeds the design capacity, there is no treatment capacity available at the WWTP". 

Speaking at this month's meeting of Carlow County Council, Clllr Doran said it's "obvious that developments would not go ahead in Baillinabranna or Nurney" as the wastewater treatment plants are exceeding capacity. 

"Bagenalstown has a little wriggle room," he added.

Cllr Doran acknowledged that Irish Water have infrastructure plans in place for the plants in Carlow but the county "won't be able to develop if the plants aren't up to standard". 

Upgrade works to the Tullow wastewater treatment plant are scheduled to begin in 2020 but this is subject to planning, land purchase and funding. 

The Irish Water Capital Investment Plan driven upgrade is to be delivered by the new Regional Contractor appointment. 

Carlow County Council Water Services have been advocating for "an earlier delivery date in order to facilitate development". 

Meanwhile the Muinebheag and Leighlin wastewater treatment plant upgrade has an anticipated works start date during 2021 subject to planning and funding.