IRISH WATER says no parts of Cork or Ireland will have any form of untreated sewage and wastewater discharge by 2021.
Since 2014, the company said they have upgraded or built new wastewater treatment plants in 55 locations across the country including 12 towns where raw sewage was going directly into the water.
Last month, Irish Water and Cork County Council marked the official opening of a new €26m waste water treatment plant in Youghal.
It brought to an end the decades-long practice of discharging untreated sewage into the Blackwater Estuary and ensures wastewater from homes and businesses is discharged in compliance with Irish and European environmental rules.
The Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage project is now at the halfway mark with 10,000 homes and businesses now connected to the scheme.
Irish Water said the new waste water treatment plant in Shanbally, means the amount of raw sewage being discharged into the Harbour has already reduced by the equivalent of 20,000 wheelie bins every day.
When all the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage works are complete in 2021, the project will treat all wastewater from 20,000 homes and businesses in Passage West, Monkstown, Ringaskiddy, Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Glenbrook, Shanbally, Coolmore and Cobh.
In Cork, five agglomerations have been identified as having no treatment or preliminary treatment only.
The five areas are Ballycotton, Castletownbere, Castletownshend, Inchigeelagh and Whitegate/Aghada.
Irish Water said it intends to submit planning applications for these areas over the coming months and will be meeting with the public in Ballycotton in November to detail their plans.
Pat Britton of Irish Water said they have upgraded or built new wastewater treatment plants in 55 locations across the country, in many cases building capacity for new homes and businesses.
“In Cork, this has included upgrading the wastewater treatment plants in Clonakilty and Carrigtwohill, and building new wastewater treatment plants in Shanbally two years ago and more recently in Youghal.”
“In some cases, progress has been slower than we would like due to complex conditions, planning and other issues, but Irish Water has a plan for every area.”