Untreated sewage could continue to be pumped into the seas around the Isle of Man until 2021.
Three locations where raw sewage is currently pumped into the Irish Sea, at Peel, Laxey and Baldrine, will not be improved in the current phase of the Government’s Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy (RSTS), which is nearing its halfway point.
Their upgrades are part of phase two of the RSTS, scheduled to begin in 2016 and run until 2021 if funding is approved by Tynwald.
Phase one, for which Tynwald approved funding in 2011, has seen upgrades to many of the island’s sewage treatment facilities that are not part of the IRIS system.
Over the last two years the Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority (now the Manx Utilities Authority) have completed upgrades to treatment works in Dalby, Glen Maye, Patrick, Jurby, Bride, Corrany and Glen Mona. Work is currently underway at Kirk Michael, Port Lewaigue and Maughold.
However, with the exception of the ongoing work at Port Lewaigue, none of the five outlets that pump raw sewage into the sea - at Peel, Andreas, Ramsey, Laxey and Baldrine – have been upgraded to date.
A new facility to replace the untreated sewage outlets at Andreas and Ramsey has been included in phase one and is currently scheduled for completion in November 2015.
It is estimated that at the conclusion of phase one in 2016, up to 85% of the island’s sewage will be treated.
Scheduled to proceed between 2016 and 2021, phase two will take in Peel and the surrounding area, Laxey and Baldrine, Sulby and Ballaugh and villages in the island’s Central Valley.
But plans to replace or upgrade existing sewage treatment works in these areas are dependent on Tynwald approving funding for phase two of the regional strategy. No dates have yet been fixed for phase two works.
Three of the island’s beaches - Peel, Kirk Michael and Ramsey - failed to meet minimum standards for safe bathing in the 2014 Good Beach Guide, published last week by the Marine Conservation Society.
An update from Manx Utilities on Wednesday said: ‘The Manx Utilities Authority has made good progress with the implementation of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy.
‘The phase one investment programme commenced with smaller, simpler developments, with the larger and more complex projects planned to be designed and constructed between now and 2016.’