Irish Water working in partnership with the Galway County Council celebrated the official opening of the Oughterard Wastewater Treatment Plant on Tuesday with Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs, and Digital Development Seán Kyne, and Galway County Council cathaoirleach Eileen Mannion.
Works have been completed on much needed upgrades to the Oughterard sewage scheme, including the construction of a new treatment plant on a green field site, as part of a €4.2 million investment by the national utility.
The previous wastewater treatment plant in Oughterard was originally constructed in the early 1970s and catered for a population equivalent of 500. But the new plant has increased capacity to cater for a population equivalent of 2,400 making it a vital piece of infrastructure for future population and economic growth in Oughterard.
The works will ensure wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, and conditions set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.
One of the major benefits of this project is that it will improve water quality in the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib, areas of ecological importance as one of the most important freshwater pearl mussel rivers in Ireland.
Minister Kyne, who cut the ribbon on the new wastewater treatment plant said: “We have waited decades for this day and as minister, I am very pleased to have played a part in its delivery. This is a great day for Oughterard and its future development potential. This investment is positive news for this area in Connemara and residents, businesses and visitors to the town will reap the benefits for many years to come. This plant will make a huge difference to the water quality of Lough Corrib, a prime brown trout fishery in the Irish and European context.”
Cathaoirleach of the Galway County Council, Cllr Eileen Mannion said this €4.2 million investment for Oughterard is very welcome and will allow the wastewater to be discharged in a safe manner. “Investments such as this are vital to ensure county Galway can develop into the future.”
Colm Boyd of Irish Water’s wastewater treatment programmes regional lead said this upgrade will bring far reaching benefits to this thriving town located at the gateway to Connemara by ensuring future population and economic growth can be facilitated.
“The environmental benefits are also hugely important given the sensitivity of the receiving waters of the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib. We are delighted to be officially opening this facility today for the benefit of the local community and many tourists that visit the area.”
The works took 12 months to complete.