SHANNON is about to get an improved sewerage scheme, which has been sought for years and is set to cost just over €1 million.
It is hoped the new development will help prevent the types of odours that have occasionally been evident around the town in recent summers.
In a letter from Environment Minister Phil Hogan to Clare TDs Pat Breen and Joe Carey this week, he outlined what the project will involve.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have approved funding to enable Clare County Council accept the tender of just over €1m, submitted by Glen Agua Ltd, to proceed with advance works for a mechanical and electrical contract on the Shannon Sewerage Scheme.
“This vitally important project is being funded under my department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2013. It will greatly expand the quality and scale of the water and wastewater infrastructure in the Shannon area and will provide capacity to support economic growth and facilitate new development, while also preserving environmental and water quality standards.
“The contract provides for significant mechanical and electrical upgrading works at four pumping stations on the Shannon Sewerage Scheme. These advance works will also provide additional capacity at the pumping stations.”
Deputy Carey said the project is good news for Shannon and the county as a whole and offers potential for new development in the town.
Locally based Senator Tony Mulcahy said the funding is badly needed. “The existing pumps are over 45 years old. Minister Hogan’s approval of the necessary funding allows Clare County Council to complete the contract formalities with the successful tenderer so the works can start as soon as possible.”
He said the odours in the town are being caused by the pressure on the system. “A lot of the cause is the back-up and it’s not being shifted quickly enough. There’s no question that the pumping house out by Aidan Park is the most troublesome.”
Town and county councillor Sean McLoughlin said the announcement is great news for the town. “It’s a great relief because there’s a smell that comes off that in the summer time. It goes right across the town and can be terrible. I hope they sign the contracts fairly fast and get it down. It’s something we’ve been shouting about for years.”
He said there are noticeable odours in the town at certain times. “When you get heavy rain and then a warm day after it, that seems to cause problems.”
Labour town councillor Greg Duff said the works have been sought locally for years. “It’s great to see that it is being included at this time. It’s a vital project and it has often come up at the town council over the years.”