Raw sewage still going into the water in Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim

The south Donegal area remains a blackspot for discharging raw sewerage back into the environment according to a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The new report found waste water treatment in over a quarter of Ireland’s large towns and cities is below public health standards.

Untreated sewerage is still going back into the water at Kilcar, Killybegs and Bundoran, however, the treatment plants are set to be in place in Killybegs and Bundoran by the end of this year.

Despite the work of Irish Water the study reveals there are significant delays in upgrading plans to meet EU requirements which have been in place since 2005.

It says that Ireland is failing to meet its EU obligations in this regard and is public health is at risk.

A number of urban areas in the region are among 44 nationwide where sewage is being collected but still making its way back into the environment and these include Ballymote, Tubbercurry, Collooney and Manorhamilton.

Noel Byrne is a Senior Scientific Officer with the Environmental Protection Agency: