The authority’s project to instate treatment plans in the east and west of the island was put on hold when the pandemic hit but now chair of Manx Utilities Authority Rob Callister has said the next steps are being put in place.
He said: ‘The Manx Utilities board met on Friday, March 25, and I am pleased to say that we do have an agreed way forward for Garff and Peel.
‘We are committed to updating local stakeholder groups and land owners next week as a first priority, now that we have passed this important milestone.
‘Manx Utilities is now in the delivery phase of this essential programme and is looking forward to working with government on this aspect of the Island Plan to deliver the final stages of modern sewage treatment to Garff and Peel and, importantly, complete the overall sewage treatment solution for the Isle of Man.’
This comes after Manx Utilities bought land at Glen Garwick in January this year where the sewer networks for Laxey and Baldrine come together.
A pumping station as well as other facilities would be required at this location, whether the solution be to do it locally or pump-away.
It formed the second phases of the Regional Sewage Treatment Strategy, focused on delivering first-time sewage treatment for Laxey, Baldrine and Peel.
It followed the rejection of two planning applications for sewage works inPeel and Laxey.
In July 2020, plans for a one to be built at Breeze Hill in Laxey were rejected and not long after, in December 2020, Manx Utilities withdrew its application for a sewage works at Glenfaba in Patrick after an inspector recommended its refusal.
Currently, raw sewage is still being discharged into the sea in both Garff and Peel.
Environment Minister Clare Barber said: ‘From the DEFA perspective, one of the pieces we’re looking at is how we help to inform the public about the risks that exist.
‘There is signage on beaches that are not designated for bathing water because we know they wouldn’t pass but I don’t know if that’s necessarily prominent enough.
‘We want people to use our beaches but we also want people to be able to make an informed decision.’
Hazel Hannan, chair of Peel Town Commissioners, said: ‘I would choose to always swim on Ramsey south beach because its good water.
‘With any sea swimmer it’s a risk factor that includes safety of the water as well – I would choose to swim somewhere safe.’
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