Irish Water has confirmed to Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Dara Calleary that it has no plans to develop a regional sludge hub in the county.
The response comes as residents living close to the waste water treatment plant located in the Belleek area of Ballina, have been seeking clarification on what the utility company intends to develop at the Belleek site.
Residents in the Belleek and Quay areas of the town often complain of an odour that they believe is emanating from the existing plant.
Deputy Calleary says that while the clarification from Irish Water that Belleek is not to become a regional sludge hub is welcome, many questions remain unanswered about the plant and he is asking Irish Water for a meeting about it’s plans for Ballina.
The deputy gave Midwest News more details about Irish Water’s statement received yesterday evening.
There are different stages to sludge treatment, as detailed in the National WW Sludge Management Plan. Ballina WWTP, similar to a number of other plants across the country, currently accepts and treats liquid sludge. Liquid sludge imports consist of liquid sludge from smaller wastewater treatment plants and septic tank sludge and as such the site is designated as a “Satellite Dewatering Site”. Irish Water is developing a programme to improve the management of liquid sludge at this and other sites. The existing Wastewater Discharge Licence for the plant will not be impacted by the proposals and there will be no additional impact on the receiving waters.
Under the National WW Sludge Management Plan Irish Water is also proposing to develop a number of Sludge Hub Centres for more effective and efficient end to end sludge treatment. However, under the current Plan it is not proposed to locate any of these Hubs in Mayo.