O’Brien says Climate Change is behind coastal pollution

8th August, 2014

Unfortunately with climate change we can expect more such extreme weather events as we experienced recently with uncharacteristically persistent and heavy rain. I am not sure how many wake up calls government needs before it realises the damage that is being done to local communities. More such instances of polluted bathing water will have serious impacts for local communities and businesses. Such pollution does serious practical and reputational damage to our seaside villages and towns all along the Fingal coast. Imagine on some of the big summer weekends over the past two years if the beaches along the Fingal coast had to be closed due to pollution. There would be a huge loss to local business and if such incidents were repeated our national reputation would suffer too.

Joe at Skerries coast after February 2014 storm

Joe at Skerries coast after February 2014 storm

A situation where rainwater drainage merges with sewage pipes is totally unacceptable. The Council have touted the planned monster sewage plant as the answer but it’s really moving the problem from one place to another rather than dealing with the root causes and our bathing water will still be at risk.

It’s worrying that these incidents are happening in summer. Our transport, drainage and sewage infrastructure was designed for a different climate and it is simply not fit for purpose anymore – and it does not bode well for the pressure it will come under during the traditionally wetter months.

I will be keeping a close eye on this issue and will be urging the Council to take measures to ensure that our beaches and bathing waters are kept safe.