August 4, 2021

Nine towns beside County Waterford pumping raw sewage into the sea

Nine towns and villages along the coast on either side of County Waterford are pumping raw sewage into the sea.

Four of the locations are in County Wexford and five are in Cork and could potentially threaten Waterford’s five Blue Flags.

The Wexford towns are:

  • Arthurstown
  • Ballyhack
  • Duncannon
  • Kilmore Quay

The Cork areas are:

  • Ballycotton
  • Castletownshend
  • Cobh
  • Timoleague
  • Whitegate – Aghada

Inchigeelagh and Castletownbere in County Cork are also discharging effluent directly in the sea or rivers but they are not adjacent to Waterford.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that the situation is ‘unacceptable’ as it revealed that raw sewage from 36 towns and villages nationally – the equivalent of 77,000 people – is pumped directly into the sea or rivers daily.

According to the Urban Waste Water Treatment 2018 report, Kilmore Quay in Wexford and Cobh in Cork, along with Arklow in Co Wicklow, account for 50% of all of the sewage.

The EPA has accused Irish Water of being too slow and continued delays in tackling the problem of pumping untreated sewage into waterways puts both the environment and public health at serious risk.

Earlier this year, all of Waterford’s top beaches retained their Blue Flag awards – Ardmore, Clonea, Tramore and the two strands in Dunmore East.



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