FOLLOWING a series of false dawns, it looks like works are finally on track to replace a 40-year-old sewerage treatment plant in South-East Clare that is causing foul odours for local residents.
Householders in Ballycannon Heights, Meelick, have campaigned for years to get Clare County Council, and in more recent years Irish Water, to replace a waste water treatment plant that is no longer fit for purpose.
Responding to Clare Champion queries, Irish Water confirmed land acquisition for this project is underway and it is expected that a CPO will be submitted in the coming weeks.
“The construction start date will be subject to the completion of this process and planning approval,” said an Irish Water spokesman.
Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is insisting that works to put in place a proper wastewater treatment plant for Ballycannon Heights should be separated from the ongoing Limerick Northern Distributor Road project.
Temporary infrastructure was put in place back in the 1980s and 40 years on, still functions as the main wastewater treatment for the estate.
This despite it no longer fulfilling its function and leading to dangerous, nauseous odours seeping out in fine weather.
There have been concerns locally that this project would be delayed due to the issues impacting on the LNDR construction but Deputy Crowe has received assurances that this is not the case.
“I’m from this locality and I know first-hand, having many times stood out on the road with residents and being knocked out by the nauseating gases, just how serious this issue is,” said Deputy Crowe.
“This was designed as a temporary solution in the 1980s but has become a permanent fixture in the estate and absolutely is not fit for purpose, 40 years on.
“On health and safety grounds, it’s essential that this project is uncoupled from the LNDR and proceeds in the quickest possible time.
“My fear is that this summer will be a repeat of every other summer of recent years, where we have these vomit-inducing smells emitting from the wastewater treatment plant.”
The Meelick Deputy confirmed he in constant contact with Irish Water on this issue as he does not want to see this slip between the cracks at this critical juncture.
The Fianna Fáil Deputy has been informed by Irish Water that land acquisition is underway, and a Compulsory Purchase Order is due to be published next month.
“Assuming there are no delays in the CPO process Irish Water expect construction to commence before the end of 2022.”