Sunday 27 May 2007

Outcry over discharge of raw sewage into river

A poster protesting against the discharge of raw sewage into the Avoca river in Arklow, Co Wicklow, and the lack of any sewage treatment facilities for the town, has been placed in the middle of the river.
The poster erected by Independent town councillor Peter Dempsey, shows a cartoon figure sitting on a toilet alongside the words: "Cut the crap, stop the objections, Arklow needs its sewage plant now."
A sewage treatment facility was originally planned for the town 14 years ago, but its development has been held up because of objections to the council's site selection.
An Bord Pleanála finally granted permission for construction of the plant at Seabank, on the coast near Arklow town, in January 2005; however, the decision was appealed to the High Court by Arklow Holidays Ltd, a company that owns a caravan park at Seabank.
The case will come before the court again on July 10th and work cannot commence on the plant unless the court decides against the appellants.
Mr Dempsey said the delays were unacceptable. "While this is being dragged through the court, turds are running down the river less than 30ft from people's front doors," he said.
The smell from the river was particularly bad during the summer months, he said, in addition to the public health risks posed by raw sewage.
"The stink is absolutely vile. We're going to have a typhoid epidemic on our hands unless something is done about this."
Olivia Kelly
© 2007 The Irish Times

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