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Thurles
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“Raw Sewage Unacceptable & Pose Risk To Public Health” – EPA

Repeated delays in the elimination of raw sewage are unacceptable and pose a risk to our environment and public health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

We are aware that raw sewage and other contaminates are flowing from some areas including the local authority sewage treatment plant in Thurles, directly into the River Suir, both up and downstream. This was confirmed back in late October of this year, by the Director of Services for Water, currently stationed with Tipperary County Council, Mr Marcus O’Connor, who finally admitted that double standards are permitted, when it comes to environmental issues affecting the River Suir here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The Thurles.Info, website have been writing about this issue constantly since 2016, ending up with reporting of the issue, on 16/08/19, to the Office of Environmental Enforcement who have chosen to ignore the issue.

Waste water treatment at 21 of Ireland’s 169 large towns and cities did not meet national and European standards set to protect the environment. This is down from 28 the previous year.

River Suir Thurles

Sewage from the equivalent of 77,000 people in 36 towns and villages is being released into the environment every day without treatment.
The pace of improvements needed to protect our environment and public health is too slow. Raw sewage discharges will continue past 2021 in 13 locations.

The EPA report on Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2018, only released today, shows there have been some improvements in waste water treatment in the past year, including the elimination of discharges of raw sewage from two areas.

However, the pace at which Irish Water is fixing the legacy of deficiencies in Ireland’s waste water treatment infrastructure is too slow, and many areas continue to release inadequately treated waste water into the environment. Raw sewage from 36 towns and villages is still released into our coastal waters and rivers today.

Commenting on the report Dr. Tom Ryan, (Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement) has stated: – “Inadequately treated waste water can pollute our environment and is a risk to people’s health. We are seeing repeated delays in providing treatment for many areas and it is not acceptable that 13 towns and villages will still have no waste water treatment by the end of 2021. Irish Water must speed up its delivery of key infrastructure.”

Mr Andy Fanning, (Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement) has commented that: – “The underlying problem in many cases is a lack of adequate treatment infrastructure. This is a legacy issue which must be solved by investment in new treatment systems. However, some towns that already have the necessary treatment in place did not perform as well as they should. We require Irish Water to continue to improve how it operates and maintains waste water treatment systems to get the best performance from them”.

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Tipperary Co. Co. Admit Raw Sewage Flows Into River Suir

Raw sewage is flowing from the local authority sewage treatment plant in Thurles, Co. Tipperary; directly into the River Suir, downstream.

Section of River Suir beyond Cabra Bridge, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, as observed on September 19th, 2019. Photo: G.Willoughby.

The Director of Services for Water, currently stationed with Tipperary County Council, Mr Marcus O’Connor, has finally admitted that double standards are permitted, when it comes to environmental issues affecting the River Suir here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

As our readers will be aware, the River Suir first rises on the slopes of the Devil’s Bit Mountain, north of Templemore in north Co. Tipperary.
It flows through the village of Loughmore before encountering the towns of Thurles, Holycross, Cahir, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir, before entering the sea in Co. Waterford.

The river stretches for some 184km in total length and less than 30km from Thurles begins a 53km stretch, now known as the Suir Blueway, strongly recommended I might add to tourists who enjoy water sports.

Tipperary Tourism – The Suir Blueway
The Suir Blueway Tipperary is the perfect escape for all the family to savour some of Ireland’s most beautiful countryside and fascinating history.
Enjoy a
paddle on flowing waters, go for a cycle along river banks, take a hike up nearby mountains, or a more sedate stroll in the bustling medieval towns and villages, from Cahir to Clonmel and on to Carrick-on-Suir.
Popular with anglers, this area holds plentiful reserves of brown trout, we are informed.

Speaking on TippFM Radio this morning, Mr O’Connor stated; “It is not an everyday occurrence. There are a number of overflows and in times of high intensity rainfalls those overflows operate and you do get sewage getting into the river Suir and that’s not ideal”.

Further according to Mr O’Connor; a plan is in the design stage however the solution will be “a couple of years before anything is done on the ground”.

Thurles.Info, the well-known ‘scaremongering website’, have been writing about this issue constantly since 2016, ending up with reporting the issue, on 16/08/19, to the Office of Environmental Enforcement who chose to ignore the issue.

Meanwhile Tipperary Co. Council invites us to “get closer to the water”, but we assume they are not referring to the River Suir.

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FSAI Recall Celtic Pure Bottled Water Products

We understand that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) have again issued a recall of Celtic Pure bottled water products, due to microbiological contamination.

The Irish watchdog’s second recall of products comes after batches of Celtic Pure Water were pulled from shelves on Monday last, after they were found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Enterococci and E. coli bacteria.

Today it was confirmed that further bacteria had been detected in other additional batches. Again, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococci or E. coli bacteria were detected in implicated batches.

It should be noted that Pseudomonas aeruginosa poses a serious risk to people whose immune system has been severely compromised e.g. transplants or chemotherapy patients. The Enterococci and E. coli, contamination indicates that the bottled water has interacted with some faecal material.

The brands in question relate to Celtic Pure Still and Sparkling waters, contained in one-litre; two-litre; five-litre; 19 litre and 500ml containers. Find link to the affected brands and points of purchase HERE.

People who have already purchased the affected product are being advised not to consume same.

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EPA’s List Of Priority Enforcement Sites Increase

List of EPA’s latest National Priority Sites for Enforcement, sees the number increase to seven.

The EPA has published the latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement for March-September 2019. Seven sites (named hereunder) are on the latest list, including one here in Co. Tipperary, for failing to meet environmental standards. These companies now face further enforcement action.

NOTE: * Arrow Group Limited includes the activities at this licensed site of Dawn Farm Foods Ltd, TCFG Naas Ltd (also known as ‘The Culinary Food Group’), QK Coldstores Ltd, Dawn Farms Distribution Ltd and Maudlins Waste Management Ltd.
** New entry for this period.

Commenting on the latest National Priority Sites List, Mr Darragh Page, (EPA Programme Manager, Office of Environmental Enforcement) stated:
“The latest list includes four sites which have not previously appeared on the National Priority Site in the last publication at the end Q2 2019 and, once again, includes Arrow Group. While the publication of the National Priority Sites list has continued to drive environmental compliance and much needed investment, the EPA continues to have concerns that environmental issues at some companies have resulted in unacceptable odour, noise, air and water quality impacts.”

The EPA welcomes the fact that two sites have come off the National Priority Site List, which was published at the end of Q2 of 2019, following improvements in compliance or reduced risk. These two sites are:-

Licensed facilities are identified as National Priority Sites for enforcement, using a system developed by the EPA. Points are allocated to each site, based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months. Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a National Priority Site and are targeted by the EPA for further enforcement action.

The EPA updates the National Priority Sites list on a quarterly basis.

Further details of the National Priority Sites scoring system and the list of sites contained can be found on the EPA website here National Priority Sites: Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.
Enforcement information on all sites can be found under the Licence Search pages at www.epa.ie/licensing/.
Complaints about licensed sites can be made on-line at www.epa.ie or by contacting the EPA at Tel: 053-9160600.

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Coillte Nature & Bord na Móna To Rehabilitate Tipperary Peatlands

Bord na Móna lands identified in counties Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, and Westmeath are to be included in a new tree planting initiative.

The new, not for profit, entity Coillte Nature, latter established in July 2019 and Bord na Móna are collaborating on a project, same which will see bog areas now transformed into native woodlands.

This welcome initiative will see some 1500 hectares of Bord na Móna land no longer used for peat production, planted with some 600,000 native trees, over the next 3 years. Trees to be planted will include a mix of native Irish trees, including Downy Birch, Scots Pine, Alder and Broad-leaved varieties including Hazel, Holly etc.

Coillte Nature, [which was recently established to increase the emphasis on carbon sequestration, habitat restoration, species diversification, biodiversity and the development of outdoor recreation and tourism amenities] and Bord na Móna are expected to work closely together and provide the required staff and management to establish and maintain these planned woodlands.

Meanwhile, in keeping with this trend, Bord na Móna are implementing an extensive peatland rehabilitation and restoration programme, latter which will see a total of some 35,000 hectares of peatland to be acclimatised by 2025.

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