River samples raise pollution fears for Killarney lake

Fears are again being voiced about pollutants entering Lough Lein, the biggest of the three, world-famous Lakes of Killarney.

Recent samples from the Woodford river, which discharges into Lough Lein, show it is polluted, with the water compliance rate being double the limit for “good water quality status’’.

The Woodford has high values of suspended solids and colour and needs further investigation, Kerry County Council claims.

Local councillor Michael Gleeson said the sample result was disappointing, especially as the Woodford had survived a landslide almost two years ago.

Also, ongoing delays in providing a sewerage scheme for a built-up rural area on the outskirts of Killarney are undermining plans to protect the lakes, it has been claimed.

Plans for the Kilcummin sewerage scheme are being scaled down following a recommendation from the Department of the Environment that a smaller scheme would suffice for the area.

The scheme was set to go ahead in 2007, but the contractor was forced to withdraw for health and safety reasons.

The scaling down was described by Cllr Danny Healy-Rae (Ind) as “another stalling exercise’’.

The department is recommending to Kerry County Council that a stand-alone treatment plant should be developed near Kilcummin village, rather than pumping the waste water to the Killarney town treatment plant. According to the department, the change in plans is due to a slower projected growth rate than had been previously anticipated for the village and other technical matters.

A site is being investigated.

Cllr Healy-Rae said a smaller scheme would mean that hundreds of houses in the Kilcummin area, which are in the Lough Lein catchment, would still be relying on domestic septic tanks.

In a bigger scheme, these houses would be connected to a public sewer linked to the Killarney treatment plant which discharges into the Lough Lein.


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