Local Weather

real feel: 4°C
wind speed: 12 m/s S
sunrise: 8:12 am
sunset: 4:24 pm


Sewage Continues To Harm Quality Of Our Rivers, Lakes & Coastal Waters, Says EPA.

A must read for Thurles residents and their businesses.

QUESTION: Were Thurles Councillors & Officials duped yet again at their Monday meeting with Irish Water officials?
Poorly treated sewage continues to harm the quality of our rivers, lakes and coastal waters, says EPA.
  • Just half (51%) of Ireland’s sewage was treated to the European Union standards set to protect our environment, well below the EU average of 90%.
  • Works to eliminate raw sewage flowing into seas and rivers from 32 towns and villages have commenced or are due to start by 2024.
  • Irish Water has no clear plan to improve treatment at 27 priority areas where waste water discharges are impacting on rivers, lakes and coastal waters.

The EPA report on Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2021, [Found HERE] and released today, shows that investment in waste water infrastructure is delivering improvements to priority areas identified by the EPA, but treatment at many areas is still not as good as it needs to be.

Emmett Street running parallel with River Suir.

Irish Water does not have clear plans in place to deal with one-third of the priority areas where waste water is adversely impacting the environment and has not allocated resources in its investment plan to complete improvements at these areas” ~ says EPA

Irish Water must provide for all improvements needed at these areas in its next investment plan, which covers the period 2025-2029.

Launching the report today, Dr Tom Ryan, EPA Director said: “This report shows that targeting investment at the priority areas identified by the EPA is delivering improvements in water quality, and the elimination of raw sewage discharges from Cobh and Castletownbere in Cork are good examples of progress.
However, it will take a high level of sustained investment over the next two decades to bring all treatment systems across the country up to the required standard to protect the environment and public health”.
Dr. Ryan added:Irish Water has failed to produce action plans to improve treatment at one-third of the priority areas identified by EPA where waste water is harming our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. It is essential that Irish Water provides clear, site specific action plans and time frames to improve treatment in these areas, and it needs to allocate the necessary resources in its next investment cycle to implement and complete them and to resolve the associated environmental harms”.

Ireland’s largest treatment plant at Ringsend in Dublin is overloaded and fails to consistently treat sewage to the required standards. A major upgrade of the plant began in 2018 and is due to be completed in 2025.
Construction work to provide treatment for the 32 areas discharging raw sewage listed in the report is either ongoing or due to start in the next two years. It is essential that Irish Water delivers these projects as soon as possible.

Mr Noel Byrne, EPA Programme Manager said: “Sixteen years after the final deadline to comply, half of Ireland’s sewage is still not treated to the standards set to protect the environment. It is particularly concerning to see some towns such as Ballymote in Sligo failing in 2021, despite having the necessary treatment infrastructure and meeting the standards in 2020. This highlights the need for improved vigilance and oversight by Irish Water to make sure treatment infrastructure is always operated at its optimum”.

The report also highlights that Irish Water needs to improve its information on the condition and performance of sewers to inform and plan upgrade works necessary to mitigate environmental risks from sewer overflows.

The report is now available on the EPA website HERE.


Thurles Local Councillors Shift Responsibility For Thurles Flooding To Someone Else.

Councillors at a Thurles Municipal District Council Meeting on Monday last were calling for ‘a plan’, latter to be drawn up 40 years too late, in an effort to tackle unprecedented flooding in Thurles on Sunday night.

Fianna Fáil Councillors Mr Seamus Hanafin and Mr Sean Ryan; the former confirming that the issue was a 40 year old inheritance problem and blaming Tipperary County Council; while the latter councillor acknowledged that this was the 3rd such incident over the last 18 month period.

As non-red faced Councillors verbally “passed the political buck” yesterday, local dissatisfied residents were seriously asking the question; “What were both above named, paid and elected public representatives doing for the past number of years, while both were members of this same Tipperary County Council, led by Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath?”

The answer of course they already know, same being; “Mostly talking party politics and further destroying Thurles town’s valuable, rich, history, to the detriment of our local tourism industry”.

Meanwhile, according to a recent ‘Press Release’, Irish Water yesterday outlined its investment in water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the Premier County, since 2014.

Surprise, surprise, Thurles is not targeted for future upgrading except under the “Leakage Reduction Programme”, but we learn that between 2014-2019, the utility invested €69m into various projects in Tipperary, with an estimated €65m, once again being ‘pumped’ (pardon the pun) into other un-named projects, up until 2024.

[None of which I might add, includes even a sandbag or a sewage blocker, being offered to Thurles town businesses or residents, and OMG, do you think, with local elections occurring in 2024, will the local electorate remember?]

Pending the ‘Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ approval; a further €136m will be also invested beyond 2024.

Speaking after a meeting with Tipperary County Council’s elected representatives yesterday, ‘Operations Lead‘ speaking for Irish Water, Ms Catherine McDonough said; “Irish Water is committed to providing quality water and wastewater services for the people of Tipperary. There is a strategic and targeted approach to infrastructure developments and proper investment is allocated for improving water and wastewater treatment plants, strengthening networks, supporting housing and economic growth, and protecting the environment. All of which are providing a more quality service for now and years to come.

As part of the Leakage Reduction Programme, almost 30km of old and problematic watermains across the county have been replaced in Newport, Kilcommon, Garrykennedy, Ballyglass, Tullakeady, Clonmore, Thurles, Clonmel and Templetouhy; and next year we plan to replace approximately 17km throughout the county.

This year has been challenging so far for certain parts of Tipperary with the warm weather and drought we experienced. This put some water supplies under immense pressure and resulted in some water restrictions, outages, loss of water pressure, and in some cases, Boil Water Notices.

I want to thank the people of Tipperary for playing their part in conserving water throughout the Summer and for having patience while we tried to restore their water supply. We have invested a lot in the local infrastructure to limit the impact this can have. We have accomplished a significant amount with our colleagues in Tipperary County Council over the last number of years, and we have more work to do as we continue providing a quality service for the people of Tipperary “.

Irish Water are also investing €65 million to upgrade and standardise disinfection systems across Ireland. In Tipperary, 21 Water Treatment Plants have had upgrades of their disinfection systems to date and upgrades at the remaining eight plants will be completed by the end of 2023.

The National Water Resources Plan is Irish Water’s plan to identify how we will provide a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable water supply to our customers for now and into the future whilst safeguarding the environment.
It will set out how we will balance the supply and demand for drinking water over the short, medium, and long term and ensure we have a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable drinking water supply for everyone.

North Tipperary is included in the Regional Water Resources Plan for the Eastern and Midlands region – and was recently adopted by IW. The remaining parts of Tipperary will be included in the Regional Water Resources Plan for the south-east which will be published for public consultation in 2023.

More limited details on the plan are available HERE.


Status Orange Rain Warning For Co. Tipperary.

Met Eireann issued a ‘Status Orange’ rain warning for five counties last night, to run until midnight tonight, (October 19th).

The counties threatened are Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois and Offaly.
The forecaster warned that residents of these counties should expect heavy rain, with the possibility of thundery downpours, which in turn could lead to localised flooding and some disruption.

Following this advice some Thurles business premises and residents, last night, placed sand bags in front of their doors in Friar Street and Cathedral Street, based on their experiences of Sunday night last.

Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, October 18th.
Friar Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, October 18th.

At 5:00am this morning, our eye in the sky spotted some flooding beginning to materialise to the rear of Tesco, on Emmett Street in the town, caused possibly by a blocked drain. We base this assumption on the fact that the the River Suir, some three metres away, remains unperturbed by last night’s rainfall.

Emmett Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, October 18th.

Motorists in Co. Tipperary, continue to be advised to slow down and allow a greater braking distance between themselves and the vehicle in front, particularly on high-speed roads such as dual carriageways and motorways.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) have stated that if the road ahead is flooded choose another route, and not to attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think. The verge may have subsided and there may also be trees or branches that have fallen that may not be visible.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists were similarly warned to take care by wearing bright clothes and high-visibility material.

Note: According to Met Eireann, all Munster GAA post primary schools games, which were scheduled to take place today have now postponed due to this forecast Status Orange rain warning.


Update On Thurles Flooding.

  • Workshop held today (October 18th) between representatives of Irish Water and elected members of Tipperary County Council.
  • Issue of flooding in Thurles Town high on the agenda.

Today, a ‘Workshop’ was held between representatives from Irish Water and elected members of Tipperary County Council, including Thurles Municipal District officials and engineers, from the Council’s Water Services Section; their business to discuss investment plans for Co. Tipperary.

We are told that high on the agenda was the issue of flooding in Thurles Town, experienced on Sunday night, which occurred following a period of heavy rainfall, which in turn resulted in streets being flooded by water and sewage, to a dept of over 100mm on various streetscapes.

We understand that Thurles Municipal District Council members outlined on our behalf, details of the impact that flooded streets were having on the town and the difficulties being frequently experienced by local businesses and private homes in the areas of Friar Street, west of the town.

Irish Water representatives from the Waste Water Network Asset Planning
section confirmed that they were aware of the extent of the issues and confirmed that an analysis of the network had recently been completed and would be expedited.

While we have no details as of yet, with regards to the closed discussions, we understand that our elected representatives were informed that once design options were further advanced, then Irish Water will present all solutions to Tipperary County Council.

As we head into an uncertain winter season and to sum up; there are no real solutions currently in the ‘pipeline(forgive the pun), aimed at presently solving or resolving the flooding problems in Thurles, so probably best to acquire sandbags.


View Thurles Under Water.

According to some town residents, Thurles may be twinning with Venice shortly; same to be announced by Thurles TD’s, within the next few days.

However, those with properties under water claim that drains are not being cleaned and that engineers have questions to answer regarding drainage brought about by the half-finished upgrading of the Liberty Square town centre.

Cathedral Street, Thurles. October 16th 2022.
Fianna Road, Thurles, October 16th 2022.
Emmett Street, Thurles, October 16th 2022.
Kickham Street, Thurles, October 16th 2022.
Thurles Town Park, Thurles, October 16th 2022.

Garda cars and private cars are being used to halt access into severely flooded streets.

Premises in Friar Street in the town are also severely flooded, with same currently being viewed by two councillors, and Fianna Fáil TD Mr J. Cahill. (You know the latter named; he’s the farmers friend who does not support current notions on “Climate Change” and “Global Warming”).

However, today is only October 16th and one wonders should residents invest in boats, before the real winter season “swings into play”.

No doubt Local Municipal District Councillors and Officials, with red faces, will discuss the issue tomorrow, before washing their hands of the matter; to blame and make demands on Irish Water, who were never involved in any updated installation.
[Time to bring former Town Clerk Mr Michael Ryan out of retirement.]

NOTE: Warning was given in August 2022 HERE with video evidence; again in August 2022 HERE, and in February 2022 HERE, by Thurles.Info.