County Council News, March 17 2007

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No more Sewage Smells – hopefully

If you cast your mind back to the great summer weather of last year you might remember a not so nice feature of the Athenry Summer, namely the awful smell of Sewage which we had to put up with for weeks at a time. It became as much a topic of conversation as the good weather itself and spoiled many people’s enjoyment of the high temperatures.

The problem of course was the overloading of the local treatment plant at Prospect, built to take a fraction of its present load but straining under the pressure of recent major development in the town. We have been waiting for years for an upgrade of the system, but the Department of the Environment’s wheels grind very slowly and despite the Athenry Plant being top of the County Council priority list and the final, much amended, application form being with the Dept. for well over a year, we have yet to get the green light for the go-ahead.

But things are at last looking up because, recognizing the fact that the work is so urgent and mindful of the risk to the river as well as the smell, Galway County Council has allocated approximately €1.5 million to upgrade the plant, while we wait for the Government to make its mind up. Tenders have been invited from contractors and it’s expected that the work will be done before the temperatures start to climb in 2007.

As the local County Councillor, I have experienced the smells and listened to the very understandable concerns of the local residents and I’m pleased to say the Environment Section of the County Council was very quick to agree that major work was needed. The cost of the project is very substantial, considering it is being funded from Co. Council resources and not from the Dept. of the Environment.

We are waiting for approval of the Main Scheme from the Dept. of the Environment. That will be a major scheme costing in the region of €20 million which would give Athenry capacity for the foreseeable future. It is expected that this approval will come in the next few weeks, which would allow work to begin in 2008 / O9.

An important benefit of the work the Council will do this year will be an improvement in water quality in the river at Athenry and importantly down river, especially at Clarinbridge, where concern has been expressed at the danger to the Oyster beds from pollution.

Hopefully the weather will be as good in the Summer of 2007 as 2006 and in Athenry we can enjoy it with the windows open for a change.

This Article was first published in East Galway News and Views, March 2007

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About this record

Written by Peter Feeney

Published here 20 May 2024 and originally published March 2007

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