At the Project Monitoring Committee meeting which took place on Wednesday 15th February 2006, the issue of water quality on the Bellanaboy Terminal site was discussed.
Mayo County Council, in consultation with the North West Regional Fisheries Board, is monitoring the quality of water discharging from the terminal site, and the quality of water in Carrowmore Lake. A significant quantity of water has built up on the terminal site since July 2005. A problem was highlighted to the developer by Mayo County Council in September 2005 and November 2005 regarding a high level of suspended solids and aluminium content. The developer has proposed a method of dealing with this problem which involves the construction of a dedicated treatment unit on site. This treatment unit was commissioned on December 16th 2005. Tests carried out on the water treated by this unit confirm that it produces a final water which is suitable for direct discharge to the local surface water drainage system. Mayo County Council, by letter dated 31st January 2006 approved the developer to discharge the treated water directly to the site drainage system.
The developer confirmed at the Project Monitoring Committee meeting on 15th February that, for a number of technical reasons, the unit did not function satisfactorily for significant periods since Christmas. The Project Monitoring Committee expressed concern about this situation and have instructed the developer to take all necessary steps to rectify the situation as a matter of urgency. The developer has undertaken to comply with this direction.
Concern has been expressed to Mayo County Council regarding levels of aluminium in Carramore Lake. The levels of aluminium naturally occurring in this lake have not been significantly affected by water from the terminal site. All water from Carramore Lake is treated at the Council’s Treatment Plant at Barnatra. Samples of treated water are taken daily by Mayo County Council. The aluminium levels conform to the limits set out in the EU Drinking Water Regulations.
Mayo County Council wishes to assure the public in the Erris region that their water supply is up to the required standard. The daily monitoring will continue and the public will be advised of any changes in the situation.