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09 Dec 2021

Flash floods flushes raw sewerage on the streets of Laois village

Celtic Tiger estate in village as capacity to solve the problem

Flash floods flushes raw sewerage on the streets of Laois village

Raw sewerage spewed out onto the street in Ballybrittas during heavy rain recently a county councillor has claimed who said the community has been waiting for a solution for four decades.

Cllr PJ Kelly, Fine Gael, said the issue arose in recent weeks and called on Laois County Council to take short term measures while the residents wait for Irish Water to find a permanent solution in a village which has spare capacity.

He tabled a motion at the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting calling on the local authority to consider installing a temporary sewage treatment facility in Ballybrittas village to cater for 52 buildings. He said these properties include dwellings and business.

"Flash flooding has caused overflowing of septic tanks out on to the Main Street in recent times,” said Cllr Kelly in the motion.

Cllr Kelly also said the community has has to put up with relying on outdated septic tanks for many years.

"The first mention of sewerage facility for the old part of the village was in 1977...We'll wait for another while," he said.

 Cllr Kelly was backed by other councillors.

"It's going on a long long time," said Cllr Paschal McEvoy Fianna Fáil.

He highlighted an outstanding delay in connecting the village to a pumping station built for a new estate during the Celtic Tiger. There are 100 houses in the estate but it has capacity for 300 homes but connection was tied up in a legal row.

"The whole thing is in a mess. As soon as that is sorted, if ever, there is enough capacity to link in the houses in the village,"

Trevor Hennessy, Acting Senior Engineer, Water Services Section replied in writing.

"This is a Wastewater Infrastructure issue and is the responsibility of Irish Water.  It is on their Laois Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme (No 4)," he said.

However, one councillor was not satisfied.

"If there is raw sewerage coming out in the street we need a better answer than that," said Cllr Aislling Moran.

"Irish Water needs to give an answer to this. They can't say we'll deal with that later. It needs to be dealt with now. There is raw sewage going onto the street that is a health and safety issue," said the Fine Gael councillor.

She demanded to know more details on the status of finding a solution.

Director of Services Gerry Murphy committed to addressing the issue.

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