The Green Party today launched its Water Quality and Conservation policy, pointing to a series of water quality incidents in the past six months that show that our water treatment systems are currently not fit for purpose and in urgent need of investment and upgrading.

Read the Green Party Water Quality and Conservation policy

Cllr Ossian Smyth, Green Party candidate for Dún Laoghaire, said:

“The summer months of 2019 saw the totally unacceptable situation whereby nine beaches and swimming areas on the Southside of Dublin were closed to swimmers on a number of occasions due to the release of untreated sewage into Dublin Bay from the Ringsend Water Treatment Plant. We simply cannot accept our natural amenities being compromised in this way on a regular basis due to what is essentially a lack of infrastructural investment. Our beaches and swimming areas are integral to our communities and to our tourism industry and must be protected.”

“It is unacceptable that pollution from the Elm Park and Trimleston streams is contributing to the closure of beaches in Dublin bay. We are told by the EPA that these streams are polluted by a combination of misconnections, leaks, spills and overflows from wastewater collection systems, and runoff from roads. We must move beyond investigation and now work directly with householders to tackle these point sources of pollution.”

Green Party MEP for Dublin, Ciarán Cuffe MEP said:

“The situation with the Ringsend Plant is now so serious that we have the EU Commission investigating the overflows that occurred in the summer months. An Bord Pleanála recently granted planning permission for an upgrade at Ringsend at a cost of more than €400 million. We know that the plant currently treats about 40 per cent of Ireland’s public wastewater but has been operating over capacity and has not been in compliance with national and EU environmental regulations for many years. The Green Party would fast track these upgrading works to ensure that we minimise the risks of similar incidents in the future.”

“Irish Water was established to focus investment in our water systems and improve water quality. Clearly this is not happening. The Green Party will prioritise the reform of Irish Water, bringing much of the day to day operation of the water supply to the regional level. We will ensure that our water infrastructure investment optimises the supply of drinking water and protects our waterways.”

“Community-led initiatives such as the #2minutebeachclean are fantastic initiatives, but we need improved co-ordination between Irish Water and Local Authorities and clear timelines for action.”

 “It is twenty years since the passing into law of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive promised clear waters by 2015. We shouldn’t still be waiting. The people of Dublin deserve a clean and sparking Dublin Bay and we want Councils, the EPA and the next government to take firm action to deliver this.”

Selected coverage:

Action needed on Dublin Bay water quality

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