Donegal has highest number of areas with sewage being pumped to sea

A quarter of the areas around the country where raw sewage is being pumped into the sea are in Donegal.

That’s according to the EPA which has released it’s annual report on ‘Urban Waste Water Discharges in Ireland’ today.

12 of the 43 areas where untreated effluent from toilets is still going into the sea are in county Donegal with Killybegs and Bundoran two of the worst affected areas.

The problem of raw sewage being pumped into the sea is nothing new.

In fact today’s report from the Environmental Protection Agency does not highlight anything that people living in areas such as Killybegs and Bundoran don’t already know.

However, the EPA says what is new about the report – is that it highlights the urgency of dealing with this problem of untreated effluent which is a significant public health and environmental risk.

David Shannon, Inspector with the EPA says the report is not good news for parts of the north west.

However, he says it is encouraging that Irish Water has started work on some of these plants:

Irish Water is now in charge of water and waste water treatment around the country.

Just yesterday it confirmed that contracts have now been signed to start work on a bundle of sewerage schemes in Sligo including Strandhill, Grange, Tubbercurry and Ballinafad.

It says it’s well aware of the scale of the problem around the country.

Irish Water’s Head of Asset Management Sean Laffey says it’s a problem that has not been dealt with down through the years.

But he says they now have a clear plan in place to deal with the problem:

David Shannon of the EPA says the risk to public health and the environment should urge the authorities to prioritise this area: