Irish Water rules out health risk after sewage leak

Small quantity of sewage discharged into Curraheen river in Bishopstown area of Cork

Irish Water said an examination by its own staff and Cork City Council workers has confirmed both the sewer and the pumping station were now fully operational

Irish Water said an examination by its own staff and Cork City Council workers has confirmed both the sewer and the pumping station were now fully operational

 

Irish Water has said there is no risk to public health and no contamination of drinking water supplies in Cork following the discovery of raw sewage seeping into a tributary of the river Lee on the outskirts of the city.

It confirmed an incident in Bishopstown in recent days in which a small quantity of sewage was discharged from a storm outfall into the Curraheen river which flows into the river Lee upstream of the city.

Last July, a similar discharge, which led to the death of more than 700 fish, was found to be due to a problem with a pumping station. However, Irish Water said a full investigation into the current discharge found the pumping station was in working order with all pumps working normally.

“However, the crews subsequently identified a blockage on the sewer line just outside the pumping station and it appears this had overflowed to a storm drain. This blockage has been cleared and the sewer is now running free to the pumping station.”

Examination

Irish Water said an examination by its own staff and Cork City Council workers has confirmed both the sewer and the pumping station were now fully operational and no sewage was entering the river, which flows into the Lee near Victoria Cross.

“Irish Water has notified all the relevant statutory authorities and will continue to monitor the situation and carry out further investigations to determine the exact nature of the incident to prevent any recurrence.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland confirmed it had been alerted to the sewage discharge into the Curraheen river by Irish Water last Sunday.

Inspectors had visited on Sunday and Tuesday but no fish had been killed as a result of the incident.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland now understands that the probable cause of the discharge has been identified as a blockage in a foul sewer which caused an overflow to occur, this blockage has been addressed and Inland Fisheries Ireland understands the problem has been rectified.”