Earlier this week this newspaper highlighted the serious discharge of raw sewage on to the shorefront of one of the finest seaside resorts in the country which has provoked a sense of both outrage and disbelief amongst many who visit the resort.
One Bundoran resident who preferred to remain anonymous said, “I just couldn’t believe the photographs displayed in the paper - they were disgusting but it just highlights the fact that this has to be fixed immediately.
“I am embarrassed to say that I did not notice it myself but the leak is on part of the beach that locals rarely use - in this day and age this is simply not acceptable and I will be addressing my feelings to our elected representatives.”
In reply to our previous article a spokesperson for Donegal Co. Council said, “The pipe pictured is the overflow from the Bundoran Main Sewerage Pumping Station which operates during periods of heavy rainfall. “The pipe is periodically damaged/ broken by heavy tides as pictured and repairs are scheduled to be carried out in the very near future.
“The design of the proposed new sewerage scheme for Bundoran (included on the Departments Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012) includes significant improvements to the operation of the main pumping station and storm storage facilities that will address the current occasional operational difficulties.”
However, international surfer and local Bundoran businessman, Richard Fitzgerald totally rejects the explanation highlighting once again that the problem is not a new one - ”It has been there for 19 years.”
Speaking to this newspaper, Fitzgerald said, “The county council are completely missing the point on the sewage problem in Bundoran.
“It doesn’t matter whether the sewage pipe is occasionally broken on the foreshore between the high and low tide mark, the facts of the matter are what is contained in the pipes which is untreated and raw sewage which is evident from the photographs.
“Leak or no leak this continues to enter the sea just one hundred feet from the current outflow and has been doing so for 19 years.
“This sewage has been flowing into the bay between the boat quay and peak reefs where it spreads across the bay polluting not only the beaches and reefs for surfers, swimmers and water users of all types but also local wild life both in the water and on the foreshore.
“The smell over the last few days while walking the promenade has been disgusting and has been commented on by locals and tourists alike.
“I do welcome an immediate upgrade to the current sewerage system where the county council should be doing everything in its power to protect one of our best natural assets (our water based tourism) with an implementation of full UV sewage treatment making our water and beaches safe for all water users. “Unfortunately we have been waiting and have been promised an upgrade of the sewage facility here since the late 90’s, we are tired of empty promises so hopefully this time it’s for real.”
Cllr. Michael McMahon, the Chairman of Bundoran Town Council, said, “I am delighted that this matter has finally been brought into the public domain - I have been highlighting this issue for quite some time now.
“This is an embarrassment to the many people and officials in Bundoran who have worked strenuously over the years to enhance the image of the resort - we have seen the new walkways, the vastly improved promenades, the growth of sports tourism and the vastly improved image of the resort - something like this can undo many years of hard work.
“I have spoken with the relevant council officials on numerous occasions and have been assured that emergency work will be carried out on this leak immediately which will go some way to alleviate the problem.
“I can assure you that I will be on to the Council on a daily basis until I see someone down there.
“In the longer term I will be maintaining the pressure on the Council to have the new sewage scheme commenced as soon as possible and will work to ensure that it is definitely on the estimates for 2012.”