Longford County Council have confirmed the waste water treatment plant at Newtownforbes is deficient and have since revised its operations at the plant to reduce potential risks of effluent carrying over to receiving water.
This news comes in the aftermath of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency in the past fortnight which shows the overall performance of urban waste treatment plants in Longford is well above the national average in terms of compliance with the general EU effluent standard.
However, while the EPA admits it is a good achievement for the county, the environmental agency has raised some serious concerns about treatment of waste water in Longford, including the primary treatment at the Newtownforbes plant.
The EPA report noted two small agglomerations in Co. Longford, Drumlish and Newtownforbes, have only primary treatment in place. This is a basic level of treatment and according to the EPA this may not be appropriate depending on the location of the discharge and any impacts the discharge might be having.
This is certainly the case with regards the Newtownforbes plant with the County Council expecting a contract for a new WWTP to be awarded in the coming months in light of the failings of the existing system. It is expected the completion date will be two years after the contract is awarded.
For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.