Irish Water requires additional funding if it is to be in a position to speed up improvement works which would eliminate the potential for raw sewage to be released into the environment, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted that raw sewage from 77,000 people is being released into the environment every day at 36 different towns and villages around the country.

It also noted that significant improvements are needed in relation to waste water treatment, particularly at 21 large towns and cities – including Dublin and Cork.

Commenting on the contents of the report, Fitzmaurice said: “I have highlighted the problem of raw sewage being released into the environment a number of times in the past. I agree that improvements need to be made across the board, but the necessary funding needs to be made available.

“It is easy for the EPA to call on Irish Water to speed up the delivery of critical infrastructure, but unless it has the funds required to do so, how is it expected to meet those demands?

“Irish Water was only established in 2013 remember. The vast majority of the problems which they are trying to deal with date back much further than that.

“It makes no sense to kick Irish Water about this issue or to fine it, as it is making strides to improve the infrastructure.

“But unless adequate funds are made available, then of course deadlines are going to be missed. That is just common sense.

“While I am not condoning frivolous spending or wastefulness, the demands outlined by the EPA will require proper financial backing if Irish Water is to meet them,” the Roscommon-Galway TD concluded.

Michael Fitzmaurice – 0861914565

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