We don’t know how much waste flows into the Shannon – Environmental Inspector

Written 3 years ago by Rebecca Donnelly


We don’t know how much human waste is flowing into the River Shannon. That’s the startling admission of a top inspector with the Environmental Protection Agency. Waterways near Portlaoise, Mullingar and Portarlington are polluted too.

Dave Shannon has been describing ‘operational issues’ at a treatment plant near Portarlington and was asked by Will Faulkner if your health is at risk. “Well if people come in contact with the sewage when it isn’t being well treated, that’s not good. Some of the rivers are polluted, the Ratheven Stream [in Portlaoise] and the Brosna.”

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When pressed by Will about a drinking water risk, Mr Shannon insisted none exists but warned of the amenity impact. Then came an alarming revelation about water quality in the River Shannon, which you can read briefly in the transcript below or listen for the full audio:
DS: All the waste water collected doesn’t actually make it to the treatment plant [in Athlone].
WF: So where does it go instead?
DS: It spills out the Shannon at an unacceptable rate really.
WF: Can that be quantified?
DS: We don’t have the actual figures, no.