€12m sewage plan delayed by reports

Mountmellick sewage system is not fit for purpose, according to Deputy Brian Stanley, who wants the go-ahead for the long promised major upgrade of the local sewerage scheme.

Mountmellick sewage system is not fit for purpose, according to Deputy Brian Stanley, who wants the go-ahead for the long promised major upgrade of the local sewerage scheme.

However, while the €12m was pledged seven years ago, the Department of Environment says it must assess and await reports before spending any more money in the town.

“This scheme is badly needed to provide a proper sewer network for the town which expanded dramatically during the building boom. The reality is that the sanitary infrastructure is not fit for purpose,” said Dep Stanley.

“Large areas of the town are not even connected into the sewage system and many households are dependent on septic tanks. The network needs to be extended to Debbicot, Pond Lane, Manor Road, Manor Lane, Garoon and Chapel Lane.”

Dep Stanley said the scheme has been promised many times, with letters sent to households as far back as 2007 informing them that €12 million had been allocated, but this led to nothing being done. He said the project is “shovel ready’”.

The Department of Environment told the Leinster Express that there are two schemes listed. The first scheme saw over €2.4 m spent upgrading the existing facility.

Phases two and three aim to improve the wastewater infrastructure to meet the needs of the existing development within the town. Phase two will involve the upgrade and expansion of the existing collection network and treatment facilities, while phase three will look at a new sewage collection to serve undeveloped areas.

The Dept said An Bórd Pleanála had granted conditional planning permission in May 2012. It said a preliminary report is under review by the Department. It said Laois County Council is also reviewing certain areas in Mountmellick with regard to septic tanks and an application for a Waste Water Discharge Licence was made to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2013.

“The outcome of the Council’s review and the decision on the application for a Waste Water Discharge Licence will feed into the assessment of the preliminary report,” said the Dept.