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CALLS for Cappa to get a secondary wastewater treatment facility are to land on the desk of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

In June, a three day no swim notice was in place for Cappa, Kilrush which has prompted Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) to issue a formal request to Minister Darragh O’Brien (FF) “to instruct Irish Water to install a secondary treatment facility as part of the ongoing treatment plant works to ensure that harmful pollutants have been removed before discharging into the River Shannon”.

Lynch maintained, “this is the only solution to ensure protection of our fishing and shellfish industry, aquatic life, environment and public amenities”.

An update has been requested from Irish Water on their plans for treatment facilties in Kilrush, acting senior executive officer, John O’Malley stated in response to Lynch’s motion before the July sitting of the West Clare Municipal District. He confirmed that a letter would be issued to the Minister on foot of the proposal.

Irish Water, in January, working in partnership with Clare County Council, commenced works to construct Kilrush Wastewater Treatment Plant, to end the discharge of raw sewage into the Shannon Estuary. The project involves the construction of a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and sewer pipelines that will serve a population equivalent of approximately 6,700. The pumping station on Frances Street will also upgrade its pumps, mechanical plant and a storm water storage tank.

Not adding a secondary treatment facility to these plans represents a mistake, Kilrush’s Lynch felt. “This one is extremely important, there is a huge investment being made in KIlrush and I want to recognise that investment, however the investment is a primary treatment which literally screens the larger particles from the sewerage before it is discharged in the river, there is no actual treatment of the microorganisms or the bacteria in it, I think it is a missed opportunity and while it might reach the European criteria there is a better way of treating sewerage, there should be a better impact on the environment”.

According to Lynch, the recent notice was “the first time I remember one issued in Cappa and it has raised concerns that we’re not doing enough”. He added, “The fishing industry isn’t quite as strong as we would hope but there is quite a strong shellfish industry and that would concern me, anything that would put these facilities at risk needs to be given serious thought, we need to protect them as best we can, there is a possible impact, it would improve the primary treatment but there is still a probable risk there, now is the time we should use to negate the risk and help those industries to thrive in West Clare”.

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