Irish Water has responded to criticism of a Kildare treatment plant in an Environmental Protection Agency report.
Irish Water said that failings at the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment plant in Naas in identified in the EPA Urban Waste Water Treatment report for 2016, exist because upgrades are needed on the sewer pipes that bring wastewater to the plant.
Irish Water spokesperson, Clare O’Riordan, said: “The Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant has been upgraded to treat the wastewater for a population equivalent of 130,000 people and is operating at this capacity to fully meet EPA license requirements. The reason the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant is included in the EPA’s report on Urban Wastewater Treatment is because upgrades are required to be carried out on the network of sewer pipes that brings the wastewater to the plant.”
She continued: “Irish Water is progressing the Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme (Contract 2A) and Contract 2B projects to upgrade the sewer network. The Contract 2A works include the construction of a new interceptor sewer to connect Newbridge to the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant, including three new pumping stations and storm storage tanks. Once the proposed project is complete it will facilitate increased flow to the existing Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant and support future population and economic growth in Newbridge. The investment will also significantly reduce overflows to the River Liffey at Kilbelin and Newhall, ensure that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, and conditions as set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.”
Irish Water said that Contract 2B works include several sewer network upgrades throughout in the towns of Naas, Sallins, Clane and Newbridge as well as upgraded pumping stations with additional storage capacity at Monread wastewater pumping station in Naas and at Clane and Sallins wastewater pumping stations. “These projects are needed as the current wastewater infrastructure is unable to support the needs of the area and to ensure compliance with the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.”
The company said it is “committed” to investing in the wastewater treatment infrastructure in Kildare to support the needs of the growing population. “The Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme projects will benefit the local community and the environment and will ensure that Ireland complies with the the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001 and the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.”
Last week, it emerged that the Osberstown plant was one of many such plants where improvements are need to resolve environmental priorities.The EPA Urban Waste Water Treatment report for 2016, said Osberstown was one of 50 which failed the standards. It found that It that Osberstown was one of thirteen plants which had non compliant wastewater collection standards.
In addition, it was one of 45 plans which was non compliant with secondary treatment requirements and it was one of 21 plants which was non compliant with more stringent treatment required.
The EPA report said the effluent discharged from Osberstown met the relevant effluent quality standards. “However, the collection systems failed to meet the Directive’s requirements. This means that some of the wastewater is not conveyed to the treatment plant. As all wastewater is not treated, the area is deemed to fail the Directive’s secondary treatment requirements, and where applicable, the more stringent treatment requirements.”