Raw sewage is being pumped into 38 beaches and rivers across the country, a new report has revealed.
Sewage from nearly 90,000 people is flooding into our waterways every day.
The report, “Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2017”, has shed light on the shortfalls in many wastewater and treatment plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that Irish Water is not investing quickly enough in wastewater treatment.
While the report says the shortfalls are a "legacy of underinvestment", an EPA spokesperson, Darragh Page, has said that Irish Water is not meeting its own targets for dealing with the issue.
The 38 locations where raw sewage is being discharged into the local environment are:
- Howth (Doldrum Bay) in Co Dublin.
- Castletownbere; Ringaskiddy village, Whitegate-Aghada, Inchigeelagh, Timoleague, Castletownshend, Passage-Monkstown, Cobh, and Ballycotton in Co Cork.
- Ballyhack, Kilmore Quay, Duncannon and Arthurstown in Co Wexford.
- Avoca and Arklow in Co Wicklow.
- Glin and Foynes in Co Limerick.
- Clarecastle, Kilrush, Kilkee, Liscannor and Ballyvaughan in Co Clare.
- Spiddal, Carraroe, Roundstone and Ahascragh in Co Galway.
- Newport and Killala in Co Mayo.
- Burtonport, Falcarragh, Kerrykeel, Kilcar, Rathmullan, Ramelton, Moville and Coolatee Housing Scheme in Co Donegal.
- Omeath in Co Louth.
Dr Tom Ryan, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said the problems were not being dealt with at fast enough pace.
“It is unacceptable that, 13 years after the final deadline to comply with treatment standards, there are still 28 large towns and cities discharging inadequately treated sewage that fails to meet these standards.
“This is putting our health at risk and is having an impact on our rivers, lakes and coastal waters.”