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Ring cuts the ribbon on ‘long overdue’ Belmullet Sewerage Scheme


ALL SMILES Pictured at the official opening of the Belmullet Wastewater Treatment Plant following a 29m investment by Irish Water were, front, from left: Cllr Gerry Coyle, Senator Rose Conway Walsh, Peter Hynes, Chief Executive Mayo County Council; Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD; Cllr Blackie Gavin Cathaoirleach Mayo County Counil; Colm Claffey, Irish Water and Cllr Teresa Whelan. At back: Cllr Paul McNamara, Iarla Moran, Mayo County Council; Deputy Dara Calleary, TD, and Senator Michelle Mulherin. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Anton McNulty

‘A MAJOR step forward’ in the development of Belmullet was how the new sewerage scheme was described at the official opening on Friday.
The development of the sewerage scheme for the Erris capital had been on the agenda for decades but was delayed by years of setbacks. Speaking at the official opening of the €9 million scheme, Minister or Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, said the project was long overdue – but the town would now reap the benefits of the scheme.
“Belmullet is a modern and vibrant town at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, attracting many visitors and it deserves top quality facilities. This investment is long overdue and I am delighted that Irish Water has delivered this huge asset to the area.
“This plant will meet the demands of the current population and will provide for future growth in the area. It is good to see Irish Water focusing on prioritising projects that will deliver the greatest environmental and economic benefit to the communities we serve,” he said.
Work on the project began in 2016 after the contract for the scheme was awarded to Roadbridge and EPS to carry out the works on behalf of Irish Water.
The new treatment plant at Corclough will have the capacity to treat wastewater for a population of up to 2,500 people.  
The project took approximately 18 months to complete but before the scheme was completed, raw sewage flowed into Broadhaven and Blacksod Bays. Minister Ring said the provision of the scheme will ‘address the unacceptable situation’ and ‘will also improve the water quality of nearby coastal areas, protecting bathing areas and the aquatic environment from pollution’.
Colm Claffey of Irish Water told the official opening the new wastewater treatment plant will ensure that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001 and conditions as set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.
The €9 million investment in the new wastewater treatment plant for Belmullet has also been welcomed by the Erris Chamber of Commerce President, Damien Lagan.
“Erris Chamber welcomes this much needed infrastructure. This project has always been high on the list of priorities for Erris Chamber and I am sure it will have an extremely positive effect on the town both for tourism and local business,” he said.
The Belmullet scheme is one of a number of projects which Irish Water are undertaking in Mayo with a further €19 million invested in sewerage schemes in Killala, Foxford and Charlestown.
The Killala Sewerage Scheme will stop untreated wastewater being discharged directly into Killala Bay and the Foxford and Charlestown sewerage schemes will provide new and upgraded treatment plants for the towns.
Commenting on the projects Minister Ring added: “These projects form part of a programme of investment that Irish Water is rolling out in Mayo and across the country to address the significant deficiencies in our water and wastewater infrastructure.
“Irish Water invested €215 million last year to ensure the development and delivery of solutions to support the safe return of wastewater to the environment from almost 1.1 million homes throughout Ireland after it has travelled through 30,000 kilometres of public sewers and been treated at 1,100 wastewater treatment plants,” he said.