Six acres of land have been purchased by the Galway County Council for the provision of a new sewerage treatment system at Woodford in the south of the county.
The state-of-the-art wastewater infrastructure Integrated Constructed Wetland System will replace the current system, which does not meet key guidelines set out by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The scheme will now progress to Part 8 of the planning process - where it will go on public display for submissions and feedback - and an application by the county council for funding is expected to be made to the Department of Environment.
The news has been welcomed by Fine Gael county councillor Jimmy McClearn, who has been campaigning for a treatment system in Woodford for some time.
“The new system will be entirely organic,” he said, “and will result in improved water quality for local residents and in the Woodford River, which is susceptible to pollution and is an important spawning ground for salmon.”
Cllr McClearn is confident financial support would be forthcoming in light of the Government’s stated commitment to achieving high international environment standards in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
It is also understood that the council had hoped to purchase an additional four acres of land but failed to reach agreement with the owner. However, Cllr McClearn said an opportunity existed to develop an amenity park adjacent to the new infrastructure.
“I have visited a number of similar sites in Waterford,” he said, “where recreation and amenity parks have been developed adjacent to the systems and have discussed the possibility with Dr Rory Harrington, who is a recognised expert in the field