Cllr Trevor Smith (FG) from Ballyjamesduff.

Work on Ballyduff WWT plant to begin next month

Works are set to begin on the new Ballyjamesduff Wastewater Treatment Plant next month.

The news was confirmed by Fine Gael Councillor Trevor Smith following the recent meeting of the Ballyjamesduff Municipal District.

“I was just looking for an update on when it would be starting. It was announced two years ago. It was to start last year.

“We were told about it two years ago and it’s expected to start this year with a timeline of two years,” he told the Celt this week.

The Ballyjamesduff native revealed how the delay in construction was halting the development of the town, and even “delayed construction of a housing scheme last year".

Cavan County Council gave the green light to Irish Water for the plant in November 2011.

The new plant will be capable of catering for a population of up to 5,200.

The proposed development comprises demolition of existing above ground tanks and kiosks and below ground structures within the existing Wastewater Treatment Plant site.

The works will also include the construction of new buildings, new plant, and ancillary and associated development within an extended wastewater treatment plant site located off an existing access lane from Market Street, in the townland of Derrylurgan, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.

The existing plant had been described as “overloaded”, with the current level of waste being treated over its capacity.

Concerns over the impact the existing plant is having on the nearby Mountnugent River fed into the decision to replace the facility.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland made representations to Cavan County Council on the planning file.

An EPA report showed discharge from the plant was not meeting standards.

Documents submitted with the planning application highlighted concerns over the Mountnugent River system, which is currently classed as having a “poor” water quality status, with the plant creating a “significant pressure” on the system.

A submission was also lodged by Éamonn Ross on behalf of the Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association.

While welcoming the upgrade to the plant, the LSTPA said it was “anxious that any developments in the area around Lough Sheelin should not have a negative impact on water quality and in particular should not increase the current Phosphate or Nitrate loading”.

It further challenged a number of claims in Irish Water’s Environmental Impact Assessment, including statements about trout and salmon stocks and the suitability of the Mountnugent River for these.

Significant further information was submitted in late September.

Irish Water has also been contacted for an update.