Irish Water will, for the first time, ensure that treated wastewater sludge across the country is managed in a sustainable way that will ensure efficiency and ongoing improvements to the benefit of the public and the environment we all live in. In its Draft National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan (NWSMP), published today, Irish Water outlines its strategy for managing wastewater sludge over the next 25 years. Public consultation on the Draft NWSMP and its associated environmental reports is now underway.
Public consultation will be undertaken for 8 weeks until Wednesday 18th May 2016, on the Draft NWSMP and associated environmental reports.
A hard copy of the Draft NWSMP, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report and the Natura Impact Statement are available at planning counters in main Local Authority Offices during normal working hours. The documents are also available to download from the Irish Water website at www.water.ie/wastewater-sludge-management.
Comments and feedback can be sent to Irish Water by Wednesday 18th May 2016, as follows:
Post: National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan, Irish Water,Colvill House, 24-26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Commenting on the publishing of the Draft NWSMP and associated environmental reports, Mr. John Casey, Head of Asset Strategy with Irish Water said, “We would like to thank all who contributed feedback on the SEA Scoping Report, which has helped form this draft plan. We would encourage you to now have your say on the Draft NWSMP, which will ensure the effective management of sludge from the treatment of the wastewater we all create”.
The environmental reports, which include the SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement, have been prepared as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment processes on the Draft NWSMP. The aim of the SEA is to ensure that the environmental consequences of the plan and its associated actions are assessed both during their preparation and prior to adoption. This process has helped to form the Draft NWSMP.
Traditionally, the majority of Ireland’s wastewater sludge is re-used as a fertiliser and soil conditioner, and also used to generate renewable energy. A very small percentage of Ireland’s sludge currently goes to landfill. Irish Water aims to retain and develop these traditional outlets with full regard for food safety and the environment, through quality management and communication at all stages of the process.
All feedback received as part of this second phase of consultation will be reviewed by the project team and the issues raised will be published in the NWSMP Consultation 2 Report and will be published on the website www.water.ie/wastewater-sludge-management
Submissions from individuals will be reported anonymously in the Consultation Reports, while feedback from organisations will be attributed to them. While submissions will not be responded to individually, relevant feedback will be incorporated into the final National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan.
The SEA Statement will outline how environmental considerations have been integrated into the NWSMP and how consultation influenced the development of the NWSMP.
It is expected that the final NWSMP and SEA Statement will be published in Summer 2016.