Grease poses sticky problem for CouncilSeptember 21, 2012 - 7:15am
By DARA BRADLEY
There are fears that outfalls in the city’s sewerage system, which in emergencies release raw sewage straight into waterways, are being used far more frequently than they should be, polluting and contaminating Galway Bay.
Concerns have also been raised about the ongoing release of grease, fats and oils ‘down the drain’ by businesses in the hospitality sector, which continues to cause problems for the city’s waste water treatment plant at Mutton Island and clogging the network.
In July, eagle-eyed Claddagh residents spotted that an outfall at the Claddagh Basin, was discharging sewage into the water, and alerted City Councillor Catherine Connolly (Ind).
It was confirmed to Cllr Connolly by City Hall engineers at the time that the discharge was in fact sewage from one of the city’s outfalls, which ‘click in’ to action in emergencies such as when there is heavy rainfall which backs up the sewerage system.
Cllr Connolly is concerned that the outfalls, which come into force automatically, are being used more frequently than they should be and she has requested Galway City Council provides an extensive report on plans for the upgrade of Mutton Island as well as the current problems being experienced in the waste water treatment system.
“I am asking for a full written report about the difficulties experienced by Mutton Island as a result of the release of fats, oils and greases into the system. I’ve also asked for full details about the number of outfalls of raw sewage there are."
Cllr Connolly expressed grave concern that the outfalls are damaging the water quality of Grattan Beach and of the beach behind Nimmo’s Pier; and she has requested an update on the Council’s progress on applying for a Blue Flag status for the two Claddagh beaches.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.