The local community living near Sruthán Pier in An Cheathrú Rua have revived their campaign to stop a sewage and wastewater treatment plant being located beside the scenic pier.
In a statement issued this week the group says that there has been no change in the strong stance first taken on this issue almost 10 years ago.
Residents have said they are still vehemently opposed to the proposal to locate a sewage treatment plant near the pier.
Irish Water recently held an information evening in the village to outline plans for the Carraroe sewerage scheme, which would put an end to the discharge of raw sewage at the pier, a practice the utility has described as “unacceptable” and “unsustainable”.
However locals have countered that a treatment plant beside the pier would be inappropriate due to its proximity to homes and the village centre, and would damage the amenity of the area.
“We are disappointed and appalled that Irish Water in partnership with Galway County Council are once again proposing that the Carraroe sewage treatment plant be located here,” Coiste Pobail Chéibh an tSrutháin, the local group opposed to the plant, said in a statement this week.
“We understand only too well that it is not acceptable that raw sewage is being pumped into the sea at Sruthán and that this dreadful situation has to be and can be resolved. It was a very poor planning decision in the first instance to run a sewage pipe into the sea here, but that bad decision made almost 60 years ago cannot be resolved by making yet another bad decision.
“As well as causing problems for local people, we believe that this sewage plant would destroy one of the most valuable natural resources in Carraroe, a beautiful coastal site with strong boating and fishing traditions. The area around Sruthán Pier, on the Wild Atlantic Way, should be developed as a tourist amenity and as a cultural, recreational and fishing amenity for the local community. That is our vision for this beautiful, historical pier which is at the centre of our townland.”
According to Irish Water the new sewerage scheme will help to improve the local environment and accommodate the future sustainable growth of the village.
“The practice of discharging untreated wastewater into Casla Bay is unsustainable,” the utility said in a statement ahead of last month’s information evening. “The new wastewater treatment plant will bring benefits to Carraroe in terms of health, integrity of the environment, and improved water quality for all.
“Cleaner water will enhance Carraroe’s amenity value and act as a platform for social and economic development. The new pipes, pumping station, and wastewater treatment plant have all been sized to accommodate an increase in the local population and will facilitate future growth in the area. The project will also ensure that the water quality standards set down by regulatory bodies will be achieved.”
Residents have asked Irish Water not to proceed with the planning application for the plant, and are seeking further consultation with the utility to find a more suitable location for the facility.