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Summary chapter

Summary chapter for national stats

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2016

Ireland has 42.1% of its generated load compliant to the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC).

In 2016, Ireland counted 185 agglomerations generating ≥2,000 p.e. each, of which:

  • 146 agglomerations, generating 2,136,939 p.e. of waste water, complied with the requirements of the Directive; and
  • 39 agglomerations, generating 2,943,676 p.e. of waste water, did not comply with the requirements of the Directive.

The waste water load generated in Ireland in 2016 was reported to be 5,080,615 p.e.

In 2016, Ireland had not yet reached the target for treating waste water to fully comply with the Directive.

  • All the waste water load is connected to collecting system or to Individual and Appropriate Systems; and
  • 49.1% of the collected waste water load must still undergo secondary treatment in line with the requirements of the Directive (approximately 2,405,100 p.e.),
  • 72.8% of the collected waste water load from agglomerations generating >10,000 p.e. and discharging into sensitive areas must still undergo more stringent treatment in line with the requirements of the Directive (approximately 2,572,300 p.e.).

3.6% of waste water load is addressed by means of individual or other appropriate systems (IAS) i.e. non-centralised sanitation systems (approximately 184,900 p.e.).

For the 185 agglomerations, there are 185 urban waste water treatment plants, with a total design capacity of 5,542,000 p.e., of which:

  • 6 plants are active but not connected to collecting system,
  • 58 plants equipped with technology only for primary and secondary treatment,
  • 121 plants equipped with technology for more stringent treatment than secondary.

For the 185 urban waste water treatment plants, there are 6 discharges without treatment with a total load of 83,285 p.e.

Based on the 2016 data, it seems that the load generated is lower than the design capacity.

Compliance rate by Article

Agglomeration Waste water load
Ireland in 2016 Total
[No]
Comply
[No]
Comply
[%]
Total
[p.e.]
Comply
[p.e.]
Comply
[%]
Article 3 (collection) 185 185 100 % 5,080,615 5,080,615 100 %
Article 4 (secondary treatment) 185* 151 81.6 % 4,895,691** 2,490,607 50.9 %
Article 5 (more stringent treatment) 41* 29 70.7 % 3,532,114** 822,531 23.3 %

Notice : This table contains only agglomerations with expired deadlines.

*The total [No of agglomerations] includes only those agglomerations that must provide secondary treatment / or more stringent treatment than secondary before discharging waste water from their treatment plants.

**The total [p.e. waste water load] is the sum of the load of all of the agglomerations that must provide secondary treatment or more stringent treatment than secondary before discharging waste water from their treatment plants.

Data source for table: Register, summary of MS data

144 agglomerations were not taken into account in the calculation of the compliance rate for Article 5 because these agglomerations generate ≤10,000 p.e. each.

Distance to target

Waste water load
Ireland in 2016 Target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[%]
Collection 5,080,615 0 0 %
Secondary treatment* 4,895,692 2,405,084 49.1 %
More stringent treatment** 3,532,114 2,572,261 72.8 %

*The target [p.e.] for secondary treatment represents the waste water load (collected and not collected) from all agglomerations that must be subject to secondary treatment, regardless of whether or not the agglomeration complies with Article 3.

** The target for more stringent treatment represents the waste water load (collected and not collected) from all agglomerations generating >10,000 p.e. and discharging into sensitive areas (regardless of whether or not the agglomeration complies with Article 3).

Data source for table: Register, summary of MS data

The expected annual investment costs per capita for installing and renewing waste water collecting systems and treatment plants is 68 EUR/inhabitant/year.

The investment needs for ensuring adequate urban waste water collection and treatment, i.e. compliance with the Directive, as estimated by the national authorities and included in their national plan, are at the level of EUR 1020.73 million for the period 2018-2026. This covers works on treatment plants, with the forecasted investment cost of EUR 632.85 million (2018-2026) , and works on collecting systems and/or IAS, with a forecasted investment cost of EUR 387.88 million (2018-2023).However, as indicated in a recent OECD study, Ireland would need to increase their investments further to reach and maintain compliance. The OECD projected that the financing needs by 2030 (total cumulative additional expenditures for sanitation) is EUR 2.7 billion.

For the reference year 2016, Ireland reported the production of 56,018 tonnes of sludge. The sludge is mainly re-used for soil and agriculture (98 %).

No information was reported on waste water reuse, storm water overflows by Ireland.