Concerns are being expressed that Irish Water will refuse to review its plans for wastewater treatment plants in Connemara, and instead challenge a decision by the Galway County Council on where such plants should be located.
Irish Water is to build plants in An Spidéal and An Cheathrú Rua. However, at Monday’s county council meeting, councillors voted that wastewater treatment plants throughout the county must be at a distance of at least 100 metres from other buildings.
The decision brings Connemara into line with the rest of the State, as it was the last remaining region operating under the 50m stepback rule for wastewater treatment plants, all others having adopted the 100m practice.
The decision has been welcomed by Sinn Féin Connemara candidate Kevin O’Hara, but he is concerned Irish Water will “seek to ignore or contest this rule”. He called on the body to “accept this decision”, review its plans for An Spidéal and An Cheathrú Rua, and implement the council’s decision within those revised plans.
“There is a need for wastewater treatment plants in both areas and indeed throughout the Cois Fharraige region,” he said, “and Irish Water have a responsibility to provide them to a high standard.”
Mr O’Hara said Irish Water should locate the proposed plants to “more suitable sites” in An Spidéal and An Cheathrú Rua, and look at creating a sewage treatment network throughout Cois Fharraige.