Residents living in Kilbelin in Newbridge have expressed their concerns over the quality of drinking water and sewerage issues in the area, as a €30 million wastewater project is currently underway.
Large machines and cranes are currently on site on the Athgarvan in Newbridge to facilitate the works authorised by Irish Water and Kildare County Council, for the purpose of creating a new wastewater pumping station which will reduce sewerage issues for residents.
It is understood that Irish Water, in partnership with Kildare County Council, began works on the Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme Contract 2A in May 2019.
The €30 million project includes the construction of a new interceptor sewer to connect Newbridge to the Osberstown wastewater treatment plant, which will facilitate increased flow to the treatment plant.
The project is needed as the current wastewater infrastructure is unable to support the needs of the area and it is not compliant with Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001 and conditions as set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.
The works are being carried out under the Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme (ULVSS) which serves towns including Newbridge, Naas, Sallins, Clane, Prosperous, Kill, Johnstown, Kilcullen, Caragh, and parts of the Curragh.
These works also involve laying down 10km of gravity and pumped sewers and the works are scheduled to be completed in 2022.
A major upgrade of Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant was already completed in 2017.
Meanwhile, residents in Kilbelin have said that the area has been plagued by a ‘horrendous smell and very poor sanitation issues’ for several years.
“Many of the homes at the back of Kilbelin have been forced to spend a fortune on plumbers to unclog drains and toilets, and Irish Water workers have had to come in once a year to drain the wastewater due to the poor sewerage system. It’s been awful for us as residents, we wouldn’t let our children drink the tap water because we’re afraid that they could become unwell from the wastewater, even now as they carry out the works. We’re very worried about the quality of the water,” said one resident.
Powerful machines are on-site for the wastewater project works on the Athgarvan Road in Newbridge
Cranes and other machinery on site
This structure will be one of two wastewater pumping stations with two other pumping stations located at Little Connell and Newhall
A spokesman for Irish Water told the KildareNow: “The works adjacent to Cox’s Cash & Carry involve the construction of a wastewater pumping station and storm storage tank, as well as new sewers. These are part of the overall Newbridge Inceptor Sewer contract which also involved the construction of 2 other pumping stations, at Little Connell and Newhall, as well as 10km of gravity and pumped sewers.”
“The works will benefit the local community of Newbridge and the environment and will ensure that the sewerage scheme is fully compliant and has sufficient capacity to allow for future growth of the town’s sewerage infrastructure,” added the spokesperson.
Long-term benefit for community and environment
Speaking to the KildareNow, Kildare South TD Martin Heydon said that he was pleased to have officiated the launch of the project back in May.
He said: “This contract marks a €30m investment in Newbridge to enable future growth in the area, and to safeguard the wastewater system. I am delighted that now, after a massive effort by Irish Water and Kildare County Council, works to carry out these essential upgrades have finally begun.
Kildare South TD Martin Heydon at the launch of the works in May 2019
"The works being carried out, the new pipes and pumping stations have all been sized to accommodate an increase in the local population here, ensuring the infrastructure is future proofed to support ongoing economic growth. I look forward to seeing this project progressed and completed to allow the town of Newbridge to expand and grow to accommodate the needs of all,"said Deputy Heydon.