Waste Water Discharge – Application Form

This is the EPA Form used for the purpose of making an application for a Waste Water Discharge Authorisation under the European Union (Waste Water Discharge) Regulations 2007 to 2020, or for the review of an existing Waste Water Discharge authorisation

It’s useful as it outlines what data the EPA collect on waste water discharges


is it on the EPA Waste Water Priority List?

is it on the EU infringement list?

where is the primary discharge point?

what is the current plant capacity, and the remaining capacity?

is the plant overloaded?

what is are the additional waste inputs eg domestic septic tanks, industrial waste water, leachate, bypass inputs?

is there an accident prevention procedure / emergency response plan?

are there alarms / telemetry on the plant?

is there groundwater monitoring in place?

what measures are in place to prevent unintended discharges?

is the plant identified as a significant pressure on the receiving waters?

have discharges contributed to a deterioration in the quality of the receiving waters?

is there drinking water abstraction downstream of the plant?

location of monitoring stations?

Disposal of milk to Irish Water sewers

Disposal of milk to sewers can create a shock load on treatment plants, with consequent pollution effects


Grenagh Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cork, the plant could not cope with the volume of milk that required treatment, resulting in operational difficulties to treat the wastewater

Similar cases in







As of July 2022, Grenagh Wastewater Treatment Plant is not listed as an EPA licensed WWTP


Latest EPA information on Grenagh

Vartry Water Treatment Plant (Wicklow): Irish Water Schedule of Commitments


The Determination of the Appeal by An Bord Pleanála for the Vartry Water Treatment Plant (Appeal Reference PL 27.247745 – Planning Reference 16 363) required the preparation of a Schedule of Commitments.

This is the document is submitted to Wicklow County Council in compliance with Appeal
Condition 2 (b).

The Condition is worded as follows:

2. The following shall apply in relation to mitigation measures and commitments:
(a) The mitigation measures and commitments identified in the Environmental Reports and other plans and particulars submitted with the planning application, and the further particulars submitted by the applicant at the oral hearing, shall be implemented in full by the developer, except as may otherwise be required in order to comply with the following conditions.
(b) All mitigation measures and commitments, including relevant matters which emanate from the planning conditions below, shall be compiled into a Schedule of Commitments, which shall be a single document, a draft version of which shall be submitted to the planning authority within three months of the date of this decision.
(c) No development including enabling works shall commence prior to receipt of the written agreement of the planning authority in relation to a final Schedule of Commitments. In default of agreement the matter shall be referred to An Bord Pleanála.

Mitigation Measures


3. The operation of the proposed development shall be in accordance with the following:
(a) Water abstraction shall not exceed the established volume of eighty million litres per day.
(b) A minimum compensation flow of five million litres per day shall be discharged.
(c) The method of delivery of this flow shall be by way of the seven sand filter beds which are to be retained.

(d) The branch pipework proposed to deliver the discharge shall have a capacity of at least fifteen million litres per day and the valve controlling the branch pipework shall be capable of remote control and variability.
(e) The practice of ‘back pumping’ shall cease.
(f) All supernatants shall be recycled to the head of the works.
(g) Within three months of the operation of the proposed development the existing water abstraction at Annagolen Bridge shall cease.
(h) The existing interceptor channel shall be retained for the delivery of surface water only.
(i) All chemical dosing shall be relocated to the site of the new water treatment plant and the existing infrastructure adjacent to the river fully decommissioned.


4. The following shall apply in relation to the monitoring of flow:

(a) Within six months of the date of this decision the developer shall install and maintain two hydrometric gauging stations, one on-site in the Vartry River and a second one further down the Vartry River catchment, which shall be permanently established with a fixed structure incorporating suitable fish passage and shall accurately measure and record in real time the combined flows from the water treatment plant discharge and the spillway channel.
(b) The locations shall be subject to the written agreement of the planning authority following consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
(c) The existing weir in the discharge chamber shall be calibrated and its performance evaluated.
(d) The availability of data shall be in accordance with the requirements of the planning authority. The developer shall also make information available to the planning authority on request and shall present an annual report summarising key issues which shall also be made available for public inspection by the developer.

Aquatic Ecology

5 The developer shall undertake a wetted area fisheries habitat mapping and hydrological monitoring to include a fisheries area assessment. Details shall be submitted to the planning authority and the development shall comply with the requirements of the planning authority following consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The duration of this assessment shall be for the construction period.

Environmental Management

6. An Environmental Management Plan and Invasive Species Management Plan shall be submitted by the developer to the planning authority.
(a) This shall include inter alia a construction programme for the works, hours of construction and a traffic management plan and shall incorporate the Final Schedule of Commitments to include measures for the protection of the natural environment and to mitigate noise and air quality impacts.
(b) The developer shall retain the services of a suitably qualified Environmental Clerk of Works to monitor and record the implementation of the mitigation measures, the impact of works on the environment and to record and investigate any environmental complaints received from the public. This person shall be given power to suspend or take further mitigation measures as necessary.
(c) The written agreement of the planning authority in relation to the above measures shall be obtained prior to commencement of any works including enabling works.


Draft AIE

Reports on abstraction volumes since plant commissioning

Reports on compensatory flow since plant commissioning

Locations of two hydrometric gauging stations on the River Vartry (one station is below Ashford, at Mount Usher Gardens)

Annual reports on flow gauging data

Invasive species management plan

Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

Report on the decommissioning of abstraction operations at Annagolen bridge

Report on retention of existing interceptor channel, and pathway for treatment chemicals / treated water to river

Note: EPA audit report gives a good overview of upgrade, recent chemical incidents, and monitoring systems at the WTP

National Waste Water Capacity Registers

IrishWater maintain a register of wastewater treatment capacity, by settlement

Each register gives an indication of available capacity (green, amber, red), and if a related WWTP project is planned or underway

Example: Wicklow

All capacity registers are listed here:


Abbeyleix Drinking Water Supply Audit

Audit to assess the suitability of the Abbeyleix Public Water Supply (PWS) for removal
from the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL).

The Abbeyleix PWS is on the EPA’s RAL since Quarter 2 2019 due to inadequate treatment for Cryptosporidium

This note in the audit suggests that results are not easy to access. It would be an interesting test case to submit an Open Data Directive request for Irish Water SCADA feed, which would highlight water quality issues in almost realtime: “Results have not been incorporated on the county wide SCADA system so cannot be accessed remotely by operators”

AIE: Irish Water locations of emergency overflows on the sewer network to rivers, and how these are activated in the event of mechanical failure

AIE Response

A list of current known locations of emergency overflows on the network to waterbodies (including rivers) has been compiled.

Emergency overflows on the sewer network are located at wastewater pumping stations and can activate in the event of the following failure modes; (a) an equipment failure or (b) power failure or (c) pump blockage.

Where there is a storm water overflow/combined sewer overflow at a pumping which operates under gravity, it can also operate as an emergency overflow under the same failure modes.

These storm water overflow/combined sewer overflows have been also included on the list.

Site surveys, assessments and checking of data is an on-going process and what has been listed is a snapshot and represents the current data that we have.

With regard to agglomeration D0510 the wastewater treatment plant and wastewater pump station are both alarmed. A new alarm system was installed at SW003 (Crooked Wood PS ), which has been operational since April 2021 and is routinely tested . No overflow events have been recorded from the plant in 2021 or from the network pumping station at Crooked Wood since this alarm system has been operational.