Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, today began construction on a new €9 million wastewater treatment plant in Belmullet, Co Mayo, which will benefit more than 1,000 local people and visitors to the area.
The sod was turned at the site on the Toorglass Road by Irish Water and Deputy Michael Ring, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development. Belmullet is one of 44 towns around Ireland where wastewater is discharged untreated. The works to be carried out by Irish Water will end this practice in Belmullet. Roadbridge and EPS will carry out the works on behalf of Irish Water. The works will ensure robust wastewater treatment, which will assist in maintaining Belmullet’s place as a leading tourism area and will provide the capacity for future population and economic growth.
Speaking at the sod turning event Minister Ring said: “This plant has been required in Belmullet for many years and I am very proud to be here with Cllr Gerry Coyle today to see construction on the plant begin. Both Cllr Coyle and I worked very hard to secure this plant for Belmullet. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mayo County Council for their work to date on the project and Irish Water for bringing this long-awaited project to fruition.”
Colm Claffey, wastewater programmes regional lead at Irish Water, said: “The investment of €9 million by Irish Water in this new treatment plant will ensure Belmullet can retain its position as a tourism hub in addition to providing the capacity for future economic development. Belmulllet is currently on the EPA’s published list of 44 sites with no wastewater treatment facilities and one of the primary drivers for this project is the protection of Broadhaven Bay and Blacksod Bay, both Special Areas of Conservation and designated Shellfish Waters.”
The €9 million investment in a brand new wastewater treatment plant for Belmullet has also been welcomed by the local chamber of commerce, whose president Damien Langan said: “Erris Chamber welcomes the commencement of works on the Belmullet sewerage treatment plant. This long awaited plant will have an extremely positive effect on the town both for tourism and local business. This scheme will go a long way in cleaning up the waters making it safer for the host of water based activities that is on offer in the Erris region. This project has always been high on the list of priorities for Erris Chamber and we look forward to its speedy completion.”
This project forms part of Irish Water’s investment plan where over €530 million will be invested in upgrading services in 2016 to improve the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The Irish Water Business Plan has earmarked almost €2 billion in improving wastewater quality and capacity up to 2021. Already in Mayo over €18 million has been invested by Irish Water in the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme with another €21.4 million committed to water projects. A further estimated €12.7 million will be spent on wastewater projects including the €9 million announced by Irish Water this month for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant in Belmullet.