Factory Waste Water
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Factory Waste Water

The above image shows the point of outflow from the waste water treatment plant into the Ilen

When an industry (as opposed to residential) discharges to the waste water treatment plant, there are often requirements to licence directly by the EPA, or if they are small, then under a Section 16 licence from the Local Authority.

Where the decision has been to allow discharge to the waste water treatment plant, then it has been determined that the factory waste water is similar to residential waste water.

Question: how can THIS Facility claim it’s ‘process’ waste water is the same as residential waste water?

A study on behalf of The EPA in Ireland found Manufacturing industries involved in the primary production and compounding of polymers, regulated under the IPPC licensing scheme, were found to emit microplastics (5 mm or smaller) to sewer.

In one instance the EPA found that even though on a site visit to Plastic compounder there was No Evidence of spillages, yet there was microplastic from that plant in the waste water treatment plant

The waster water treatment plant use a system to filter out large particles, however in most instances even their fine screens would not filter out 5mm nurdles, let alone the smaller ones. Much of this plastic will go through into the discharge water – straight into the Ilen just upstream of the rowing club

Some of the plastic will get filtered out into the sludge, which goes to landfil or is used as fertiliser.

This has caused a Concern over build-up of hazardous materials on land spread with sewage sludge.

Wastewater treatment plants have been identified as one of the largest point sources of plastic particles less than 5mm in diameter.

Landspreading of these sludges on agricultural land poses risks to terrestrial ecosystems and potentially further risks to freshwater systems.

These plastics, as with all plastics attract POPs .

The run off from land enters the streams and rivers and eventually will run to the Ocean aka The Wild Atlantic.

The Nurdles and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) will enter he Ilen estuary and the protected areas of Roaring Water Bay and the islands on which we depend for

• Mussel and Oyster farming
• Crayfish and Crabbing
• Food toursim
• Eco tourism

And on which we depend as a beautiful and restful area to live in and to visit.

Too many jobs are at risk; too much is already invested in this beautiful part of the world to be wrecked by a poor planning decision that brings no money in to Skibbereen and very few jobs.

EPA Research : Scope, Fate, Risks and Impacts of Microplastic Pollution in Irish Freshwater Systems