Malahide marina polluted by enough sewage to fill two Olympic pools last April, court hears
Irish Water pleaded guilty to offences under the Waste Water Discharge last year
Malahide Marina, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Malahide marina was polluted with enough raw sewage to fill two and a half Olympic-size swimming pools following a water treatment malfunction last year, a court has heard.
Irish Water pleaded guilty to offences under the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations 2007, at Strand Road, Malahide, Co Dublin, in April 2018.
Irish Water admitted it did not take corrective actions or notify the EPA about the incident as soon as practicable.
EPA inspector Brendan Kissane told Judge Halpin the plant was manned full-time Monday to Fridays and used three pumps: a standby pump, a duty pump and an assist pump. One of them was removed and four days later - Saturday, April 28th - the other two pumps failed.
As a result, sewage did not get treated but instead went into two tanks which then overflowed and the sewage ran into the marina.
The treatment facility was inspected on the Saturday but the pump failure problem was not detected. It was noticed the next day but Irish Water could not get assistance to fix the pumps. It carried on until the next morning when a temporary pump was installed.
Judge Halpin heard it was estimated some 6,700 cubic metres of sewage went into the marina over a 43-hour period, enough to fill two and a half Olympic-size swimming pools.
An alarm had gone off and an employee who inspected the facility over the weekend thought the “pumps looked right” and did not detect there was no flow into the treatment plant.
Judge Halpin fined Irish Water €1,500 for the breach. He also ordered it to pay €850 to the EPA for its expenses, and a further €5,000 toward legal costs.