Wicklow

Arklow Main Drainage: Seabank WwTW EIS

PUBLIC HEALTH IS A KEY ISSUE FOR THE SUCCESS OF THIS PROJECT

Raw sewage from the town of Arklow is discharged through the existing sewerage system to the River Avoca. In the interest of public health, it is proposed to construct a waste water treatment works to serve a population equivalent of 18,000.

Planning permission had been granted in 1994 for a waste water treatment works to serve Arklow. Five years later, advances in technology, increases in population, legislative changes, and publication of the Strategy Study on Options for the Treatment and Disposal of Sewage Sludge in Ireland prompted a re-submission of the planning application for a larger works and based on a different treatment system.

The location proposed for the works is a 2.9 hectare site in Seabank townland approximately 2.5km outside Arklow. The treated effluent will be discharged into the Irish Sea via a 990m-long outfall pipeline. The pipeline will run beneath Arklow Sand Dunes, which is designated as a proposed National Heritage Area, but the surface of the dunes will not be disturbed in the course of construction.

The revised Environmental Impact Statement examined the impacts of the proposed construction under the following headings:
  • Water
  • Amenity Uses
  • Visual Aspects
  • Socio-Economics
  • Odour 
  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Heritage
  • Terrestrial Fauna & Flora
  • Soil
  • Marine Fauna & Flora
  • Climate
  • Construction
Beneficial impacts will include improvement to the water quality in the Avoca Estuary, while impacts that can be alleviated include potential intrusion on views of the sea over the site, odours at nearby housing and disturbance to beach users.