Liberal Vannin call for sewage solution

By Siobhan Fletcher   |   Reporter   |
Friday 6th May 2022 11:40 am
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Proposed regional sewage works at Glenfaba

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A political party has criticised Manx Utilities over its sewage policy.

Liberal Vannin’s comments came as the authority announced that its final phase of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy (RSTS2) would involve ‘regional treatment solutions’ for Garff and Peel – but didn’t say where it would like the new plants to be sited.

The party said: ‘Liberal Vannin is concerned at the continuing inability of the Manx Utilities Authority to deal with the unacceptable state of our sewage treatment on the island.

‘Particularly regarding the continuing discharge of raw sewage into our rivers and sea bathing areas.

‘The MUA has come up with new solutions for Laxey and Peel, but we have been here before and these proposals still anticipate an unacceptable number of annual overspill discharges of effluent into Laxey Bay (an estimated 30 during each official bathing season).

‘The same is true for Peel, which is further exacerbated by the effluent including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).’

It continued: ‘The sewage system for Douglas is also totally inadequate, with regular discharge into the river from the overflow adjacent to the Tesco car park.

‘Millions of pounds have been spent on our IRIS scheme, with the usual lack of strategic planning, project management and political oversight.

‘The island deserves better. Our beaches deserve better. Our children deserve a better future.

‘Sadly, we’re continually asked to hold our breath.’

On Wednesday (May 4), Manx Utilities issued a statement stating that the programme is at the point of delivery with Manx Utilities now seeking to gain all of the approvals required so that the build phase can commence.

Exact details of preferred sites are undisclosed at this time until completion of the necessary agreements to acquire sites; Manx Utilities has a duty of care to safeguard the identity of anyone involved with site discussions.

Following extensive site analysis, it has been confirmed that the preferred solution for Garff is a single treatment works to serve both Laxey and Baldrine, at a location between the two villages.

There are no plans for anything other than pumping stations at either the Cairn site (Laxey harbour) or on land at Glen Garwick.

Pumping stations cannot be avoided due to the layout of the valley but will have minimal impact on the surrounding areas.

The preferred solution for Peel is a location within Peel, however Glenfaba House site remains an option for the catchment.

Chair of Manx Utilities Rob Callister MHK said: ‘There has been a tremendous amount of work involved in analysing the many options available, to provide first time sewage treatment for the remaining Island areas of Garff and Peel.

‘I am grateful to representatives of both areas for engaging with the Manx Utilities’ team and very much hope we can all now get behind proposals to complete the island’s sewage treatment strategy.’

The programme remains subject to planning permissions; applications are expected to be submitted later this year, with a proposed completion planned for late 2024.