EPA report

  • 85% of septic tanks inspected in Co Mayo last year did not meet environmental standards.

    Tests on septic tanks were carried out by local authorities across the country, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Nationally, there was a 51% failure rate, and 26% were found to be a risk to human health or the environment.

    A lack of maintenance and desludging was identified as a key issue in systems failing inspection.

    In Mayo, 67 inspections were carried out last year, with an 85% failure rate.

    Since 2013, 300 septic tanks in Mayo failed inspections, of which only 60% have been fixed.

    In Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim, less than half of systems that failed have been fixed.

    The EPA is warning that if people do not maintain their septic tank, it can contaminate their own or a neighbour's well, putting human health at risk.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that drinking water in the country's private water supplies is not good enough and is putting people's health at risk.

    In its latest Drinking Water Quality report for 2019, the watchdog says more than 100 private supplies failed to meet bacterial standards.

    Bacteria in water supplies can make people very ill - particularly young children and the elderly.

    1 million people get their drinking water from a private supply, and many more drink water from small private supplies, such as hotels, pubs and restaurants, nursing homes and schools.

    Of the 1,418 small private supplies monitored, 88 failed to meet the standards relating to bacteria, while 20 of the 417 private group schemes failed to meet the standards.

    The EPA is also concerned that almost one in 5 small private supplies were not monitored in 2019, which makes it impossible to be confident that the water is safe to drink.

    In Mayo, 6 of the 37 small private group schemes were not monitored for e-coli.

    The report also shows that in 2019, 14 boil water notices were put in place on Mayo schemes, with one Do Not Consume notice -these impacted on almost 2,700 customers.

    It also lists 8 private supplies in Mayo with THM failures, or are on the Department's remedial action list.

    The EPA says local authorities must ensure than monitoring is undertaken, in line with regulations.

    Senior water inspector at the EPA, Dr Michelle Minihan says local authorities need to do more to improve the water quality:

     

     

  • Raw sewage is no longer flowing into Killala Bay, following a €19 million investment in wastewater infrastucture in the area.

    That's according to Irish Water, in response to a new report published this morning by the EPA.

    The report says raw sewage is flowing into the environment from 35 towns and villages every day - including the Mayo towns of Killala and Newport - posing an unacceptable risk to the environment and to public health.

    However, Irish Water has stressed that the new wastewater treatment plant in Killala has been completed and is operational, stopping the discharge of raw sewage into the bay.

    The company says it's also progressing plans for a new wastewater treatment plant in Newport to address the last remaining raw sewage being discharged into the environment in Co Mayo.

    However, following queries from Midwest News, Irish Water has confirmed that the works in Newport are not due to be completed until 2024.