Monday 14 May 2007

Faeces ‘illegally dumped’ in Wexford by Dublin council

UP TO 150 tonnes of toxic human excrement dumped in Wexford by Dublin County Council last month contained 29 times the legal level of human coliforms, a local councillor has claimed.

The waste, taken from Dublin City Council’s sewage treatment plant in Ringsend was dumped on farmland at Peppards Castle near Gorey.

Waste is routinely spread on lands but it is usually treated to become tillage fertiliser. That removes potentially harmful material such as human coliform which poses a risk of contamination for up to 40 days.

According to councillor Lisa McDonald, a sample of the waste dumped in Wexford was taken and processed by local laboratories Q-Labs and the extreme levels of the coliform were detected.

The waste was also found to contain E. coli and bacteriological readings which were 15 times the legal limit.

Wexford County Council has initiated an investigation and will decide whether the incident constitutes illegal dumping. One of its senior engineers has said the sludge is in breach of government and EU codes.

Dublin City Council meanwhile has said it was a “once off mistake” for which it has apologised.

However, that apology is not enough for Emma Louise Gibson, who lives just yards from where the material was spread. Ms Gibson is six months pregnant and fears that the foul smell may be the least of her and her partner’s worries.

“People in the area have been complaining of illnesses. I fear that it has put my baby’s life at risk. Dublin City Council have apologised but I want to know what they are going to do to get it taken back off the land.”

Irish Examiner

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