There are 148 urban areas where improvements are required to resolve environmental priorities and three of these are in Kilkenny.
The EPA report on Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2016 says priorities must be addressed to protect the environment from the harmful effects of waste water at Freshford (Nuenna), Goresbridge (Barrow) and Johnstown (Goul).
There are 148 urban areas which require improvements in the collection and treatment of waste water to comply with EU treatment standards and eliminate discharges of raw sewage.
The priorities also require the prevention of river pollution, lakes and bathing waters and the protection of shellfish and pearl mussel habitats.
Otherwise, Kilkenny fared well in the report which found waste water treatment at 50 of Ireland’s 185 large towns and cities fail to comply with standards set to prevent pollution and protect public health.
No where in Kilkenny was among those towns and cities.
The report highlights the need for significant funding to address the legacy of under investment in infrastructure needed to collect and treat our waste water effectively.
Sewage from the equivalent of 120,000 people across 44 areas still enters the environment untreated each day.
Plans to install treatment at some of these areas is delayed by up to three years and most will not be completed until 2021, according to the EPA.
Four bathing water areas were deemed unsafe for swimming due to health risks caused by sewage.
Gerard O’Leary, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said: “Wastewater from over half our population failed to meet environmental standards.
“For many years Ireland failed to address the deficiencies in wastewater treatment.
“Substantial and sustained investment is now required to protect our valuable waterways and protect public health.”
Darragh Page, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said: “Ireland’s environment is at risk because waste water is not treated to the necessary standards, even though the final deadline to meet these standards was 2005.
“New or upgraded treatment systems are required in some areas. In other areas, there is already sufficient treatment capacity in place, but the management of the treatment systems needs to improve.”