Planning sought for project to end discharge of untreated wastewater into harbour from Whitegate and Aghada

Planning sought for project to end discharge of untreated wastewater into harbour from Whitegate and Aghada

Irish Water has submitted a planning application to Cork County Council to construct a new sewerage scheme in the Whitegate and Aghada areas. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger

Irish Water has submitted a planning application to Cork County Council to construct a new sewerage scheme in the Whitegate and Aghada areas.

The project, which will be delivered in partnership with Cork County Council, will involve the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and sewerage infrastructure, which Irish Water says will eliminate the discharge of untreated wastewater from the Whitegate and Aghada areas into Cork Harbour.

The new plant, sewer pipes and pumping stations will all be sized to accommodate future population growth.

Irish Water says the plant will bring big benefits to the area, including an enhancement of its amenity value, as well as a platform for social and economic development.

Discussing the project, Anthony Kavanagh, Irish Water’s Regional Delivery Lead, said: “The Whitegate and Aghada areas enjoy a beautiful coastal location and provide an amenity for those living in the area and visitors alike. By ending the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated wastewater from these areas into Cork Harbour, this project will boost the area by enhancing the local environment, protecting health and supporting economic development.

“With tourism and water-based activities becoming ever more popular, the importance of providing effective treatment of wastewater cannot be overstated, both for those who live and work in this area and for the many visitors to this beautiful part of County Cork. Cleaner water will mean a lot to those who enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, boating and sightseeing in the area. The project will protect local bathing water and shellfish waters in the area too,” he said.

Mr Kavanagh added: “Irish Water, together with our partners in Cork County Council, is confident that this scheme will bring significant benefits to the Whitegate and Aghada areas and Cork Harbour for many years to come.”

This project is being delivered as part of Irish Water’s investment plan which prioritises key outcomes such as leakage, water supply zones removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List, areas where there is raw sewage entering the rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations), and areas identified by the European Court of Justice under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

In Cork, projects are also underway to end the discharge of untreated wastewater including the recently completed sewerage scheme in Courtmacsherry and Timoleague, as well as Cork Lower Harbour which is currently on-going, while the Castletownbere Sewerage Scheme is expected to commence in 2021.

Irish Water is also progressing with projects for the remaining untreated agglomerations in Cork, with a planning application lodged for Inchigeelagh earlier in the year and applications to be submitted in the coming months for Ballycotton and Castletownshend.

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