05 Dec 2021

Funding for pilot waste water system study for one-off housing in Leitrim

"A generation lost" because of one-off housing debacle

File photo

In what has been described as a “good news story for Leitrim” Leitrim County Council has confirmed a proposal for a pilot scheme for a waste water treatment system for one off houses in the county has secured funding.
The news was announced at the November Council meeting following queries by Cllr Enda McGloin and Cllr Sean McGowan.
Director of Services for Economic Development, Planning, Environment and Transportation, Joseph Gilhooly, explained the pilot is a joint proposal with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) as lead applicant to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Programme and the Council as co-applicant.
The application is for a Willow based system and this will be installed at a number of existing Council rural houses where an upgrade of treatment systems is required.
Leitrim County Council has allocated funding under the 2022 Housing budget for the installation of the new system at these sites and once complete, these systems will be subject to three years of monitoring and reports which the EPA funding will cover.
Mr Gilhooly said that the EPA has informed the Council the application has been selected for funding “subject to the successful resolution of some matters identified through the evaluation phase.
“The lead applicant (TCD) is currently assessing these matters which has just recently been received and will be responding shortly.
“Once formal approval is received the partners will commence the planning for the rollout of the project. This project is centred on the upgrading of existing systems on a number of selected local authority housing sites as against greenfield locations in order to shorten the timescale of the project to have the ability to provide meaningful outcome within the parameters of the research programme regarding timescale and to maintain the project within additional provisions of the relevant Code of Practice."
Cllr Enda McGloin welcomed the news noting that “this is a good news day for Leitrim”.
“I am thrilled with the answer from the Council. What this means is that we can, over the next number of months, proceed to trial test this new waste water treatment system,” he said.
“As it is going to be installed in properties which are already built this will shorten the period for getting results on the pilot”.
Cllr McGloin paid tribute to Mr Gilhooly and his team at Leitrim County Council for their work on bringing the proposal to this stage.
“The directive from then Minister John Gormley over 10 years ago has seriously held us back (Co Leitrim),” said Cllr McGloin.
“I am very hopeful that this pilot will work.”
Cllr Sean McGowan also welcomed the news noting that “what we are looking for here is to try and safeguard rural Ireland.
“Rural housing is the one big issue for us. It is very important to the future of Leitrim.”
The remaining councillors welcomed the news seeing it as a positive step in addressing this long term problem.

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