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Ireland's 50 towns, cities fail to meet EU wastewater standards

Staff Writer | October 25, 2017
Ireland's 50 large towns and cities, including the capital, fail to meet the European Union (EU)'s wastewater standards, according to the country's environment watchdog.
Ecology   Urban wastewater treatment
In a report on urban wastewater treatment in 2016, Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said 44 areas, mainly in southern Ireland's Cork and northwestern Ireland's Donegal counties, were discharging untreated sewage.

The EPA said wastewater in 59 areas was the sole threat to rivers, lakes and coastal waters that were at risk of not achieving good status, adding that almost one quarter of these were in Donegal and western Ireland's Galway counties.

It said there were four areas where wastewater contributed to poor quality bathing water.

The affected beaches include County Dublin's Merrion Strand and Loughshinny Beach, according to the report.

In the report, the environment watchdog said improvements in 12 areas were needed to protect critically endangered freshwater pearl mussels in rivers such as south Ireland's Blackwater and Nore.

It also said disinfection of wastewater in three areas was required to safeguard shellfish habitats.