The Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, Jackie Cahill is calling for a range of measures to improve water quality in Ireland saying that too much of the blame is being assigned to the Agriculture sector.
The comments come following the publication of an EPA report which states that the equivalent of three Olympic swimming pools worth of sewage is being pumped into Ireland’s waterways daily.
The TD says this is a dangerous situation due to both the health and environmental impacts caused by the lack of wastewater treatment facilities.
The Thurles based TD is highlighting that 61 settlements and villages in Tipperary alone have no wastewater treatment plants and is calling on Uisce Eireann to increase it’s investment. In addition, the TD notes that Thurles and Nenagh – both have mixed sewer systems, meaning that both wastewater and storm water are mixing in the treatment plants that are completely inadequate to deal with the quantities involved and also puts the communities at risk of flooding by material that is a mix of rainwater and sewage.
Deputy Cahill says farmers are facing cuts in their nitrogen derogation limits due to declining water quality which is caused by a variety of factors.
The former Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association(ICMSA) president says farmers will play their part but says the issue of the major pollution from sewage systems must be tackled by Uisce Éireann.