herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Raw sewage seeps from manholes in unfinished estate

Declan Burke and Martin Zustack from an Dun Ard estate in Craughwell Co Galway with sewage and waste water issues . Photo:Andrew Downes
Declan Burke and Martin Zustack from an Dun Ard estate in Craughwell Co Galway with sewage and waste water issues . Photo:Andrew Downes

AN unfinished housing estate which came before the courts last year over ongoing sewage problems has seen the situation worsen, with raw sewage seeping up through manhole covers.

Forty-five residents of the Dun Ard estate in Craughwell, Co Galway, took a case last year against the developers in a bid to have the problem put right.

The developers were sub- sequently ordered to carry out repair works, but almost a year on the serious problems are worsening.

Residents are now demanding that the local council intervene.

deteriorated

One resident, Martin Zustack, told how he was forced to dump raw sewage from a bucket over his back wall after it repeatedly built up in his home because the pipes were incorrectly fitted.

Local man Des Gibson said the situation had deteriorated significantly in recent months.

"It's extremely serious now," he said. "After the court case last year we understood the sewers would have to be brought up to standard, but we've been left with this problem.

"All the manhole covers in the estate have sewage coming back up. It's seeping up into people's back gardens. The whole estate is affected."

The HSE is currently finalising a report for the Environmental Protection Agency on the matter, but neighbours are urging the council to take immediate action.

"The court case last year laid out just what we were living with and it's just getting worse. This is a serious health and safety issue, " said Mr Gibson.

During the case, Mr Zustack gave evidence that his garden had been flooded with raw sewage on several occasions, despite repeated clearing of the drains.

In May 2013, he hired a drains expert who found his sewage pipes had been in- correctly attached to storm water drains, forcing raw sewage into a soakaway located in a common green area that was suitable only for rainwater.

Mr Zustack gave evidence that during heavy rain the soakaway would back up, forcing raw sewage back into his home.

"We couldn't use our toilet or bathroom or do any washing. I would call Barna Waste, but even in an emergency you may have to wait a day or two. I had to resort to throwing a bucket of effluent over our wall to keep the levels down," he said.

Mr Zustack added that he could not allow his children to use the garden or patio as a result of the problems.

He has been forced to attach a pump to his pipes and must pump the sewage from his home twice a day.

The development com- panies that built and maintained the estate for several years, Silverpath Developments and Harmack Developments, have since been dissolved.

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