Kilkenny was among eight urban areas cited in an Environmental Protection Agency report on failure to meet EU standards in wastewater treatment plants.
The report found that “nearly half of Ireland’s wastewater treatment plants serving urban centres are failing to achieve national and EU standards.”
Kilkenny is included in its list of “urban areas with secondary treatment with nutrient reduction required by the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.”
The report says of those in this category: “Because these relate to more sensitive environments, a higher level of treatment is required – in these cases, nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen have to be removed.”
The report points out that the issue in Kilkenny is due to be resolved by mid-2015, although the “secondary treatment with nutrient reduction required” was due as of May 31, 2008.
Most of the others in the category have expected completion dates of 2012, 2013 or 2014.
“This level of performance is poor and needs to improve,” said Gerard O’Leary, programme manager in the EPA’s office of environmental enforcement. “In order to meet EU targets, further investment in infrastructure is required and we need a step change in the operation and maintenance of these valuable assets.”