Domestic sewage has regularly flooded the green area of a housing estate in East Cork.
But the provision of a pumping station will alleviate a health and safety risk for residents, including 20 children, at Cois Muileann, Ballincurrig near Midleton.
Under the planning process, the pumping station at the housing estate should have been completed in March 2008.
The problem arose because the developer ran into difficulties and was unable to provide a pumping station which would have transferred the effluent to the county council’s main sewerage system.
According to Independent councillor Sean O’Connor, the sewerage posed a serious health and safety threat to locals, especially children.
“Local people recently raised their concerns with the EPA,” said Mr O’Connor. “The pumping station was a planning requirement. What’s happening is that the waste is going into a holding tank which overflows. As part of the planning process, the pumping station should have been installed within five years of planning being granted. This should have been completed as far back as March 2008.”
Mr O’Connor was also concerned sewerage could have flowed into the Owenacurra river, which provides water for Midleton and Carrigtwohill.
There are water intake vales 7km and 5km downstream of Cois Muileann.
Fianna Fáil councillor Bart Donegan told a meeting of Cork County Council his sister-in-law lives at the housing estate.
“There are pools of the [sewerage] on a green area adjoining the houses so it’s not safe for kids to play there,” he said. “A pumping station has to be put in.”
Midleton-based Independent councillor Noel Collins said any threat to water quality had to be taken seriously.
Fine Gael councillor Michael Hegarty said the council should look at drawing down the bond furnished by the builder when he began the project.
Bonds are put in place as insurance against unfinished developments and the council can take the money to complete works.
County engineer Noel O’Keeffe said the problem lay with the developer.
“I have been told that his bank will fund and the project will be complete by the end of the year,” said Mr O’Keeffe.
He said that water extracted from the Owenacurra river was regularly monitored and no problem had arisen with it.