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Sod turned on Belmullet wastewater treatment plant

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DIGGING DEEP Colm Claffey from Irish Water with Minister of State for Regional Development, Michael Ring, TD, and Belmullet councillor Gerry Coyle turn the sod on the €9m Waste Water Treatment Plant in Belmullet yesterday. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Anton McNulty

The beginning of construction work on the new €9 million wastewater treatment plant in Belmullet has been welcomed by local businesses who feel it will have a positive affect on the town.
The official sod-turning ceremony of the wastewater treatment plant was performed yesterday (Monday) afternoon by Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring. The plant is located on the Toorglass Road and will cater for a population equivalent of 2,500.
The Belmullet scheme has been offset by delays for many years but machines were on site two weeks ago with Roadbridge and the EPS Group completing the work on behalf of Irish Water.
Damien Langan, the President of the Erris Chamber of Commerce welcomed the start to the new plant and said it was something the businesses have been campaigning for a long time.
“This long awaited plant will have an extremely positive effect on the town both for tourism and local business. This scheme will go a long way in cleaning up the waters making it safer for the host of water based activities that is on offer in the Erris region. This project has always been high on the list of priorities for Erris Chamber and we look forward to its speedy completion,” he said.
At present untreated effluent from the town flows into both Broadhaven Bay and Blacksod Bay, which are both Special Areas of Conservation and designated Shellfish Waters.
Speaking at the sod turning event Minister Ring said he was proud to be able to officially turn the sod on the new plant.
“This plant has been required in Belmullet for many years and I am very proud to be here with Cllr Gerry Coyle today to see construction on the plant begin. Both Cllr Coyle and I worked very hard to secure this plant for Belmullet. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mayo County Council for their work to date on the project and Irish Water for bringing this long-awaited project to fruition,” he said.
Already in Mayo over €18 million has been invested by Irish Water in the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme with another €21.4 million committed to water projects.
One of those projects is the Foxford Sewerage Scheme Network and Wastewater Treatment Plant and Irish Water revealed they will be tendering for the project later this year with a view to having a contractor in place in the summer of 2017.
The existing Foxford plant needs to be upgraded and its capacity increased to cater of the existing load, projected growth and to provide for growth in the area. Ring performs sod-turning of Belmullet wastewater treatment plant.