• Aug
    07

    CorkBeo – More than a quarter of domestic water treatment systems a risk to human health


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
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    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Inspection Plan for 2019 also found that 51% of systems were failing.

    MORE than a quarter of domestic water treatment systems inspected last year posed a risk to human health, it emerged yesterday.

    And the same ratio (26%) were deemed to present a threat to the environment.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Inspection Plan for 2019 also found that 51% of systems were failing altogether.

    An EPA spokesman said: “While there has been progress, the failure to resolve older cases remains a concern and must be addressed as priority.”

    Almost three-quarters 73% of fixed systems failed inspections between 2013 and 2016.

    Mary Mulcahy, of Ireland Waste Water, who said more rigorous testing is needed, added: “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that there is not enough being done on building awareness the problems and of supports available to uphold standards.

    “One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so.”

    Source: https://www.corkbeo.ie/news/more-quarter-domestic-water-treatment-18650103

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  • Aug
    07

    Kildare Nationalist – 41% of septic tanks in Kildare failed EPA test last year


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
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    A WORRYING 41% of domestic wastewater treatment systems inspected in Co Kildare in 2019 failed, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    34 inspections were required last year in the county and 46 were carried out – a failure rate of 41% translates to 19 systems.

    The report also noted that just 65% of the systems in Kildare that failed inspection between 2013 and 2019 (which was 63) have been fixed as of 30 April 2020. This is an area, the EPA has said, that requires increased engagement and enforcement by local authorities.

    A response to the figures was sought from Kildare Co Council but, as of time of press, had not been received.

    Domestic wastewater treatment systems are used by householders to treat sewage and there are nearly half a million in Ireland – mostly septic tanks. If not built and operated properly, they can contaminate household wells with harmful bacteria and viruses, while excessive releases of nitrogen and phosphorus can pollute rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

    The EPA is responsible for the development of a National Inspection Plan for domestic systems – under the plan, local authorities are required to undertake at least 1,000 inspections each year, distributed based on risk across the country.

    Nationally, the EPA report on 1,160 local authority inspections in 2019 revealed that 51% of systems failed and 26% were a risk to human health or the environment. A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue.

    The failure rate, it said, shows that there are many systems that pose a risk to people’s health and the environment, which is especially concerning if they are near household wells or if effluent is ponding (pooling) in the garden or being discharged into ditches or streams.

    Householders across Kildare have been advised to ensure their systems are properly built and maintained and that their wells are tested.

    The EPA noted that the grant scheme for septic tanks was recently expanded to cover specific areas where work is being focused to improve water quality under the national River Basin Management Plan, which means that more people will qualify for a grant.

    Grants of up to €5,000 are available to fix domestic wastewater treatment systems.

    “If you do not maintain your septic tank, it can contaminate your own or your neighbour’s well, putting your health at risk and that of your family and neighbours. It may also pollute your local stream or river,” said Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement. “You can take simple steps to maintain your septic tank by cleaning it out regularly and by making sure it is not leaking, ponding or discharging to ditches. The Government’s expanded septic tank grant scheme broadens the availability of grants and increases the maximum grant available which is welcomed.”

    The EPA also found that 27% of systems that failed inspections during 2013-2019 are still not fixed. “It is important that householders fix systems where problems are detected and be aware that they can pose a serious health risk,” said EPA Senior Inspector Noel Byrne. “While there has been an improvement in the number of systems fixed, there are still many systems where faults are not addressed over a number of years. This requires increased engagement and enforcement by local authorities to address remaining failures.”

    Ireland Waste Water, which designs, manufactures and installs the likes of precast concrete wastewater treatment systems and septic tanks, has called on the Government to roll out an awareness campaign on grant support and a training programme for local authorities and homeowners tasked with the responsibility of maintaining sewage standards.

    The company says there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various – particularly rural – locations around the country, namely the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    “There are nearly half a million domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) used by rural householders to treat sewage in Ireland and most (90%) are septic tanks. A very large percentage of these are not meeting the standards required and even after this has been pointed out, a large portion remain unfixed,” said Mary Mulcahy from Ireland Waste Water. “We are advocating for a hastening of the pace at which Government and local authorities are addressing these issues, and perhaps more sanctioning for those who don’t abide by the existing guidelines. The way local authorities deal with this issue varies from county to county also – there is not a uniform approach to penalties and sanctions when perhaps there should be.”

    Source: https://kildare-nationalist.ie/2020/07/28/41-of-septic-tanks-in-kildare-failed-epa-test-last-year/#.Xy1hazUo_IV

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  • Aug
    07

    Wexford Today – 70% of Septic Tanks Tested in Wexford Failed


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    More than 1 in every 4 domestic waste water treatment systems nationwide inspected in 2019 were a risk to human health or the environment, and even though the stakes are so high when it comes to public welfare and environmental protection, there is very little accountability.

    This is the contention of experts at Irish-owned wastewater treatment specialists, Ireland Waste Water, who, on the back of a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are calling on the Government to roll out an awareness campaign on grant support and a training programme for local authorities and homeowners tasked with the responsibility of maintaining sewage standards.

    The EPA report found that in Wexford 70% of septic tank inspections failed inspection in 2019.

    81% of the systems that failed inspection between 2013– 2019 have since been fixed Nationwide.

    51% of systems failed and 26% were a risk to human health or the environment.

    27% of systems inspected since 2013 were still not fixed.

    A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue at domestic systems.

    Mary Mulcahy of Ireland Waste Water explained their position,

    “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that there not enough is being done on building awareness the problems and of supports available to uphold standards. On top of this, testing is not as rigorous as it needs to be to ensure access to clean water.”

    “The EPA suggests that greater engagement is needed from Local Authorities and while this might be the case, we must first address exactly why they are not currently engaged to a greater degree.”

    “One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so”.

    IWW say Ireland needs better management of septic water systems, and the Government needs to ensure better understanding of the importance of good waste water treatment systems, and the risks of poor management across the board.

    Mary Mulcahy went on to comment,

    “The duty of care cannot rest solely with the homeowner, because this is the current state of play and we can see from this report and others before it, that there are far too many domestic waste water treatment systems not meeting the standards – and the cost to the public & the environment is just too great to ignore. The potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.”

    “It is imperative that Government and the relevant bodies review and engage with homeowners on grants and support available in order to incentivise the critical need for improvement and keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring clean, safe water in this country in 2020 and beyond”.

    IWW say there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Mulcahy explained,

    “There are nearly half a million domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) used by rural householders to treat sewage in Ireland and most (90%) are septic tanks[3]. A very large percentage of these are not meeting the standards required and even after this has been pointed out, a large portion remain unfixed.”

    We are advocating for a hastening of the pace at which Government and local authorities are addressing these issues, and perhaps more sanctioning for those who don’t abide by the existing guidelines. The way local authorities deal with this issue varies from county to county also – there is not a uniform approach to penalties and sanctions when perhaps there should be”.

    Source: https://wexfordtoday.com/2020/07/24/70-of-septic-tanks-tested-in-wexford-failed/

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  • Aug
    06

    Carlow Nationalist – 19% of septic tanks in Co. Carlow failed EPA test last year


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    MORE than one in every four domestic wastewater treatment systems nationwide inspected in 2019 was a risk to human health or the environment, yet despite the risk to public welfare and environmental protection, there is very little accountability.

    This is the contention of experts at Irish-owned wastewater treatment specialists Ireland Waste Water who, on the back of a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are calling on the government to introduce an awareness campaign on grant support and a training programme for local authorities and homeowners tasked with the responsibility of maintaining sewage standards.

    The EPA report found that in Co Carlow 19% of septic tank inspections failed, but thankfully, 100% of the systems that failed inspection between 2013 and 2019 have since been fixed.

    This compares with a 51% failure rate of systems nationwide and 26% which posed a risk to human health or the environment. Of that total, 27% of systems inspected since 2013 were still not fixed.

    The report indicated that a lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue with domestic systems.

    Mary Mulcahy of Ireland Waste Water explained their position:

    “The statistics in the EPA’s most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that not enough is being done on building awareness of the problems and of supports available to uphold standards. On top of this, testing is not as rigorous as it needs to be to ensure access to clean water.

    “The EPA suggests that greater engagement is needed from local authorities and while this might be the case, we must first address exactly why they are not currently engaged to a greater degree.

    “One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so.”

    IWW says Ireland needs better management of septic water systems and the government needs to ensure better understanding of the importance of good wastewater treatment systems and the risks of poor management across the board.

    They indicate that there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Source: https://carlow-nationalist.ie/2020/07/28/19-of-septic-tanks-in-co-carlow-failed-epa-test-last-year/#.XywEqTUo_IV

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  • Aug
    06

    Over 25% of Irish domestic water treatment systems inspected last year posed risk to human health


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    More than a quarter of domestic water treatment systems inspected last year posed a risk to human health, a new report revealed on Thursday.

    And worryingly, the same ratio (26%) were deemed to present a considerable threat to the environment.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2019 National Inspection Plan also found that 51% of systems were failing altogether.

    An EPA spokesman said: “While there has been progress, the failure to resolve older cases remains a concern and must be addressed as priority.”

    The primary reasons for negative evaluation outcomes were structural defects where systems were not built properly and a lack of maintenance and regular desludging.

    The report revealed almost three-quarters (73%) of fixed systems failed inspections between 2013 and 2016.

    Meanwhile, 27% of domestic waste treatment systems inspected during the last seven years were still not fixed.

    Mary Mulcahy, of Ireland Waste Water (IWW), who insisted more rigorous testing was needed, said: “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that there is not enough is being done on building awareness the problems and of supports available to uphold standards.

    “One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so.”

    IWW stressed Ireland needs better management of septic water systems.

    The organisation also stated the Government needs to ensure better understanding of the importance of good waste water treatment systems and the risks of poor management.

    IWW insisted there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the below-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Ms Mulcahy added: “The duty of care cannot rest solely with the homeowner, because this is the current state of play and we can see from this report and others before it, that there are far too many domestic waste water treatment systems not meeting the standards – and the cost to the public and the environment is just too great to ignore.

    “The potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.

    “It is imperative that Government and the relevant bodies review and engage with homeowners on grants and support available in order to incentivise the critical need for improvement and keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring clean, safe water in this country in 2020 and beyond”.

    IWW insisted there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.”

    Source: https://www.msn.com/en-ie/money/other/over-25-of-irish-domestic-water-treatment-systems-inspected-last-year-posed-risk-to-human-health/ar-BB176JwP?li=BBr5Fap

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  • Aug
    06

    TheCork.ie – 52% of Septic Tanks Tested in Cork Failed Inspection in 2019


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
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    Call on Government to roll out awareness campaign on grant support and nationwide training programme for homeowners and planning authorities

    More than 1 in every 4 domestic waste water treatment systems nationwide inspected in 2019 were a risk to human health or the environment, and even though the stakes are so high when it comes to public welfare and environmental protection, there is very little accountability. This is the contention of experts at Cork-based, Irish-owned wastewater treatment specialists, Ireland Waste Water, who, on the back of a recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are calling on the Government to roll out an awareness campaign on grant support and a training programme for local authorities and homeowners tasked with the responsibility of maintaining sewage standards.

    The EPA report found:

    Cork
    52% of septic tank inspections failed
    93% of the systems that failed inspection between 2013 – 2019 have since been fixed

    Nationwide
    51% of systems failed and 26% were a risk to human health or the environment.
    27% of systems inspected since 2013 were still not fixed.
    A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue at domestic systems.

    Mary Mulcahy of Ireland Waste Water (a private firm based in Cloverhill, Coolcarron, Riverstick, Co Cork) explained their position,

    “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that the not enough is being done on building awareness the problems and of supports available to uphold standards. On top of this, testing is not as rigorous as it needs to be to ensure access to clean water.The EPA suggests that greater engagement is needed from Local Authorities and while this might be the case, we must first address exactly why they are not currently engaged to a greater degree.

    One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so”.

    IWW say Ireland needs better management of septic water systems, and the Government needs to ensure better understanding of the importance of good waste water treatment systems, and the risks of poor management across the board.

    Mary Mulcahy went on to comment,

    “The duty of care cannot rest solely with the homeowner, because this is the current state of play and we can see from this report and others before it, that there are far too many domestic waste water treatment systems not meeting the standards – and the cost to the public & the environment is just too great to ignore. The potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.

    It is imperative that Government and the relevant bodies review and engage with homeowners on grants and support available in order to incentivise the critical need for improvement and keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring clean, safe water in this country in 2020 and beyond”.

    IWW say there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Mulcahy explained,

    “There are nearly half a million domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) used by rural householders to treat sewage in Ireland and most (90%) are septic tanks. A very large percentage of these are not meeting the standards required and even after this has been pointed out, a large portion remain unfixed.
    We are advocating for a hastening of the pace at which Government and local authorities are addressing these issues, and perhaps more sanctioning for those who don’t abide by the existing guidelines. The way local authorities deal with this issue varies from county to county also – there is not a uniform approach to penalties and sanctions when perhaps there should be”.

    Source: https://www.thecork.ie/2020/07/26/52-of-septic-tanks-tested-in-cork-failed-inspection-in-2019/

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  • Aug
    06

    Laois Nationalist – 29% of Septic Tanks in Laois failed test last year


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    ACCORDING to a new report from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) 29% of septic tanks tested in Laois failed inspection last year.

    Following the release of the Ireland Waste Water (IWW )criticised the EPA for not doing enough to uphold standards of Irish domestic water systems.

    It has now called on the Government to roll out an awareness campaign on grant support and nationwide training programmes for homeowners and planning authorities.

    In Laois the EPA found that between 2013 to 2019 of the numbers of systems that failed – 79% have since been fixed.

    In a statement Mary Mulcahy from IWW said: “The costs to public health are just too great to ignore. More than one in every four domestic waste water treatment systems nationwide inspected in 2019 were a risk to human health or the environment. Even though the stakes are so high when it comes to public welfare and environmental protection, there is very little accountability.

    Ms Mulcahy said: “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark. They are a testament to the fact that not enough is being done on building awareness of the problems and supports that are available to uphold standards. On top of this, testing is not as rigorous as it needs to be to ensure access to clean water.”

    She said: “The EPA suggests that greater engagement is needed from local authorities. While this might be the case, we must first address exactly why they are not currently engaged to a greater degree. One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so”.

    Ms Mulcahy said: “The duty of care cannot rest solely with the homeowner, because this is the current state of play and we can see from this report and others before it, that there are far too many domestic waste water treatment systems not meeting the standards – and the cost to the public and the environment is just too great to ignore. The potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.”

    Source: https://laois-nationalist.ie/2020/07/27/septic-tanks-in-laois-failed-test-last-year/#.Xyv9mTUo_IU

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  • Jul
    29

    Over 25% of Irish domestic water treatment systems inspected last year posed risk to human health


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    More than a quarter of domestic water treatment systems inspected last year posed a risk to human health, a new report revealed on Thursday. And worryingly, the same ratio (26%) were deemed to present a considerable threat to the environment.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2019 National Inspection Plan also found that 51% of systems were failing altogether.

    An EPA spokesman said: “While there has been progress, the failure to resolve older cases remains a concern and must be addressed as priority.”

    The primary reasons for negative evaluation outcomes were structural defects where systems were not built properly and a lack of maintenance and regular desludging.

    The report revealed almost three-quarters (73%) of fixed systems failed inspections between 2013 and 2016.

    Meanwhile, 27% of domestic waste treatment systems inspected during the last seven years were still not fixed. Mary Mulcahy, of Ireland Waste Water (IWW), who insisted more rigorous testing was needed, said: “The statistics in the EPAs most recent report are stark and they are a testament to the fact that the not enough is being done on building awareness the problems and of supports available to uphold standards.

    “One of the major challenges is that local authorities, engineers and homeowners themselves are ultimately responsible for maintaining these standards on a daily basis, yet neither has enough knowledge or know-how to do so.”

    IWW stressed Ireland needs better management of septic water systems.

    The organisation also stated the Government needs to ensure better understanding of the importance of good waste water treatment systems and the risks of poor management.

    IWW insisted there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the below-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Ms Mulcahy added: “The duty of care cannot rest solely with the homeowner, because this is the current state of play and we can see from this report and others before it, that there are far too many domestic waste water treatment systems not meeting the standards – and the cost to the public and the environment is just too great to ignore.

    “The potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.

    “It is imperative that Government and the relevant bodies review and engage with homeowners on grants and support available in order to incentivise the critical need for improvement and keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring clean, safe water in this country in 2020 and beyond”.

    IWW insisted there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.”

    Source: https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/health-news/over-25-irish-domestic-water-22406188

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  • Jan
    23

    There is a Real Risk of E. coli in our Water


    by Aoife
    No comments yet

    The government must introduce more measures to stem the contamination of Irish water supplies in 2020, says Mary Mulcahy, co-founder of Ireland Water, in today’s (23rd January 2020) The Echo paper.

    Improper spreading of slurry and subpar septic tanks are threatening the quality of our water and as a result there is a very real risk of E. coli and other contamination-related side-effects. As we approach a new year, we are taking stock of developments to date and looking at what action needs to be taken over the next 12 months and beyond. The beginning of this year started out with promising announcements around the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme – the investment programme for water services in rural areas which included an increase in the maximum grant for refurbishment works to a domestic well from €2,031 to €3,000, as well an extension to the eligibility for the grant scheme.

    It is imperative that Government and the relevant bodies keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring cleaner and more environmentally friendly water treatment systems in 2020.
    Reports from the EPA throughout the year paint a worrying picture of the flagging standards of septic tanks and other domestic water treatment systems in Ireland. The stakes are high when it comes to public welfare and environmental protection. We have been in this industry for 20 years and while the quality of water in Ireland is good by international standards, we cannot afford to be complacent in our approach as there are still issues that need to be addressed. As with anything of this nature, the potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.

    One report points to fact that over half of the 2,000 inspections of septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems in 2017 and 2018 failed inspection because they were not built or maintained properly. While the latest EPA report found that sewage from the equivalent of 77,000 people in 36 towns and villages is released into the environment every day without treatment. 

    While works to upgrade water supply schemes are ongoing by Irish Water, the EPA suggest that there are a large number of schemes around the country still at risk of contamination – upto 60 serving an estimated 551,078 customers. A good number of these schemes serve the country’s most populated residential areas, such as parts of South Co. Dublin, Wicklow, Cork City and Kilkenny, as well as popular tourist areas in Cork and Kerry.  
    We see that there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    There are nearly half a million domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) used by rural householders to treat sewage in Ireland and most (90%) are septic tanks A very large percentage of these are not meeting the standards required and even after this has been pointed out, a large portion remain unfixed. What’s more the EPA’s research tells us that treatment at 21 of Ireland’s 169 large towns and cities did not meet national and European standards set to protect the environment. There is a very real risk of E. coli and other contamination-related side-effects for these homes and businesses and the surrounding areas.

    We are advocating for a hastening of the pace at which Government and local authorities are addressing these issues, and perhaps more sanctioning for those who don’t abide by the existing guidelines. The way local authorities deal with this issue varies from county to county also – there is not a uniform approach to penalties and sanctions when perhaps there should be.

    We applaud the decision to extend and expand the septic tank grant so that it’s no longer means tested. We all have a role to play in taking care of ourselves and our environment. People need the backing and the support of the Government, but they also need to take personal responsibility. From what we have seen to date, most people are more than willing to do just this.

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  • Dec
    10

    Irish Water need to do more to stop contamination of Drinking Water in Cork – says a Cork based sewerage treatment firm


    by Aoife
    posted in Latest News
    No comments yet

    • Improper spreading of slurry and subpar septic tanks is threatening the quality of our water – says Company
    • Grants, penalties and a more uniform approach needed by local authorities – says Company
    • The is a very real risk of E. coli and other contamination-related side-effects – says Company

    An Irish wastewater treatment manufacturer, based in Riverstick, Co Cork is calling on the Government to fast-track some of the proposals outlined in the Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems 2017 and 2018 report[1].

    File photo showing pristine natural landscape in Ireland

    Ireland Waste Water is a privately owned Irish company founded in Cork by Mary & Niall Mulcahy over 12 years ago. It is based in Riverstick, Co Cork. The company trades as ‘Ireland Waste Water’. A search of the Companies Registration Office database indicates this is a Registered Trading name of Irish Sewerage Treatment Systems Ltd.

    The private company says recent research from the EPA paints a worrying picture of the water quality of certain systems throughout the country, and that it is now imperative that Government and the relevant bodies keep their foot on the gas when it comes to ensuring cleaner and more environmentally-friendly water treatment systems.

    This comes on the back of two separate reports from the EPA. The first, released earlier this year, revealed that over half of the 2,000 inspections of septic tanks and other domestic wastewater treatment systems in 2017 and 2018 failed inspection because they were not built or maintained properly.[2] While the latest EPA report found that sewage from the equivalent of 77,000 people in 36 towns and villages is released into the environment every day without treatment. [3]

    Mary Mulcahy, Co-Founder of Ireland Waster Water explained their position,

    “The EPA report earlier this year showed that for the 2017-2018 period of local authority inspections Cork County had a failure rate 49% – and even more worryingly, by March of this year, 11% of these failing systems remained unfixed. The stakes are high when it comes to public welfare and environmental protection. We have been in this industry for 20 years and while the quality of water in Ireland is good by international standards, we cannot afford to be complacent in our approach as there are still issues that need to be addressed. As with anything of this nature, the potential for environmental pollution and a negative impact on the health of the nation is great and, as contamination of water could have disastrous consequences for those affected, these issues need to be dealt with the gravitas they deserve.”

    IWW say there are two primary issues affecting the quality of water in various, particularly rural, locations around the country – namely, the improper spreading of slurry[4] and the sub-par maintenance of household septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems.

    Ms. Mulcahy explained,

    “There are nearly half a million domestic wastewater treatment systems (DWWTS) used by rural householders to treat sewage in Ireland and most (90%) are septic tanks[5]. A very large percentage of these are not meeting the standards required and even after this has been pointed out, a large portion remain unfixed. What’s more the EPA’s research tells us that treatment at 21 of Ireland’s 169 large towns and cities did not meet national and European standards set to protect the environment. There is a very real risk of E. coli and other contamination-related side-effects for these homes and businesses and the surrounding areas.

    We are advocating for a hastening of the pace at which Government and local authorities are addressing these issues, and perhaps more sanctioning for those who don’t abide by the existing guidelines. The way local authorities deal with this issue varies from county to county also – there is not a uniform approach to penalties and sanctions when perhaps there should be.

    We applaud the decision to extend and expand the septic tank grant so that it’s no longer means tested. We all have a role to play in taking care of ourselves and our environment. People need the backing and the support of the Government, but they also need to take personal responsibility. From what we have seen to date, most people are more than willing to do just this.”

    Circle 7

    Circle 7 is a unique wastewater purifying solution for homes, schools, factories and businesses throughout rural Ireland, that treats water in a more environmentally friendly way, and to a higher standard than what has been possible to date, saving households and businesses thousands of Euro in the process. Ireland Waste Water is the only company that has achieved European certification for their product, which is unique in the Irish market. It reimagines the traditional flawed septic tank process which, when not managed correctly, is a risk for contaminating the land and the water system. Circle 7 provides a new system to treat wastewater by taking household waste, percolating it using an advanced filtration system and bringing it to a near bathing water standard.

    Niall Mulcahy, Co-founder of Ireland Waste Water commented,

    “Grey water is damaging septic tank and wastewater systems as they currently stand in homes all over the country, with the primary risk being contamination of the clean water supply into a home, as well as of the surrounding land.”

    IWW are reporting strong demand nationwide for their Circle 7 invention. The company says they need to look at growing their distribution network and warehousing facility.

    Mr. Mulcahy went on to say,

    “Since we launched Circle 7 earlier this year the demand has been phenomenal – people the length and breadth of the country have been getting in touch with us saying they have been looking for a solution just like this but had not been able to find one to date.

    The demand in the West of Ireland has been particularly strong, and while we have been and will continue to service customers all over the country – logistics is definitely a challenge. We need to transport huge concrete tanks by the use of cranes and as we are almost at full capacity at the moment, we are looking at other avenues for our distribution network.”

    Contamination Risk

    While works to upgrade water supply schemes are ongoing by Irish Water, the EPA suggest that there are a large number of schemes around the country still at risk of contamination – up to 60 serving an estimated 551,078 customers. A good number of these schemes serve the country’s most populated residential areas, such as parts of South Co Dublin, Wicklow, Cork City and Kilkenny, as well as popular tourist areas in Cork and Kerry.

    Source: https://www.thecork.ie/2019/12/04/irish-water-need-to-do-more-to-stop-contamination-of-drinking-water-in-cork-says-a-cork-based-sewerage-treatment-firm/

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