UPGRADES to outdated sewage treatment plants are to help reduce the amount of raw waste currently pumped into the sea and rivers around Maughold.
Maughold Commissioners have received updates from the Water and Sewerage Authority on the proposed improvements to be made at Port Mooar and Port Lewaigue.
The authority’s Brian Barnett has advised that a decision has been made to install a new Integral Rotating Biological Contactor (IRBC) sewage treatment plant at Port Mooar to serve Booilushag and Maughold Village.
Sewage from the village will be conveyed to Port Mooar via a new gravity sewer. Some preparatory ground clearance has taken place at Port Lewaigue where a new IRBC will also be installed.
It is anticipated that the works at Maughold on the new sewer will begin in July or August this year, whilst the works at Port Mooar will begin in September, with these facilities hoped to be operational in early 2014.
Due to delays to accommodate the bird breeding season, works are expected to commence at Port Lewaigue in September and completed by December.
The Water and Sewerage Authority has assured residents they will be kept informed during these periods.
Clerk to Maughold Commissioners Martin Royale explained: ‘They’re upgrading the existing sites, so the emissions meet the latest standards.
‘At Port Lewaigue it’s not treated at all, it’s just pumping out raw sewerage. The commissioners support the upgrade because it’ll clean up the water going into the sea, so it’s good for everyone.’
He added that at the Port Mooar plant there is some treatment already, but the facility is outdated.
‘They’re also doing works at the Glen Mona and the Corony plants, to make both more efficient, which is good as emissions there go into Cornaa River,’ said Mr Royle. ‘I’m told the treated water is drinkable, so obviously it’s a vast improvement for the environment.’
The only downside of the project is that the plants will only serve a relatively small number of properties, as the money to provide the infrastructure to connect newer houses in the area to the treatment plants is not available.
Those houses will remain connected to individual septic tanks.
‘Down the line, we’d like to see the newer properties connected up,’ said Mr Royle. ‘But there’s no money, and it’s highly unlikely to happen in the near future.’