Probe underway into Castlemartyr sewage spill

Probe underway into Castlemartyr sewage spill

Overflow at a waste treatment plant in Mitchell’s Woods, Castlemartyr, currently being investigated by the EPA. Local resident Dave O’Keeffe says the issue has been ongoing for many years. Picture: Dave O’Keeffe

An investigation is underway into a wastewater treatment plant in Castlemartyr that spilt raw sewage into the surrounding woods. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed it is investigating the treatment plant in Castlemartyr that spilt raw sewage into the Mitchell's Woods earlier this week. 

Irish Water has since apologised for the incident. “In the early hours of Sunday morning it appears that the aeration tank at Castlemartyr became blocked as a result of inappropriate items being flushed down toilets becoming logged in the tank," a spokesperson said.

Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, the tank over flowed.” The tank was cleared Monday morning, according to Irish Water.

Local resident and a member of Castlemartyr Community Committee Dave O’Keeffe told the Evening Echo issues with the treatment plant are a regular occurrence.

“If this was a once off issue, fine. We would deal with it. But this is consistent,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

The tank has regularly overflowed over the last seven years, according to Mr O’Keeffe.

“In fact, it’s every month at least. The system badly needs to be upgraded,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

Development is underway for an additional 200 homes for the area, which will likely increase pressure on the plant, he added.

The overflow from the plant often discharges into drains in the surrounding woods, regularly causing blockages before travelling half a mile and flowing off into the Kiltha River.

A lot of money and time has been invested into the woodland walks in the area, Mr O’Keefe said, adding that some of these paths now come within four-feet of raw sewage.

“Anyone going through on one of our woodland walks, it’s shameful the smell in the area. This needs to be resolved,” Mr O’Keeffe added.

The EPA said it is now on-site conducting an investigation as to the circumstances of the incident. “The outcome of that investigation shall be confirmed in the Inspector’s Report which will issue in due course.”

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