Irish Water has confirmed that a €7.75 million investment to address significant inadequacies in the wastewater treatment infrastructure in Clifden, Co. Galway, is on track for completion later this year.
The Clifden sewerage network has already been upgraded and the construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant for the town is due for completion in October 2015.
Clifden has a population of over 2,000 according to the most recent census but as a key tourism destination in Ireland, seasonal population figures are multiples of that number. The EPA Urban Wastewater Report 2014 identifies 44 large urban areas that did not achieve the mandatory EU water quality effluent standards and Clifden is of these locations. Clifden Beach has also been rated as ‘poor’ in the recent EPA Bathing Water Quality Report, a report that describes many issues that contaminate beach areas, including sewage discharge, agricultural runoff and other contaminated runoff in coastal areas.
Sean Corrigan, Regional Information Officer with Irish Water comment on progress of this project said, “Improvements in bathing water quality that will result from this significant investment in Clifden are not only important in environmental terms, they will have direct positive effect in an area where coastal tourism is a key economic driver locally. The inadequacies of the wastewater infrastructure in Clifden, as a result of decades of underinvestment, have directly resulted in negative ratings in two separate EPA reports. These vital projects have been in planning for a number of years and Irish Water is fast-tracking the work required to ensure that Clifden can maintain its reputation as a renowned tourist attraction while allowing for future growth and business development.’’