Welcome to the Wastewater Section of Offaly County Council.
Effective wastewater (sewage) treatment is an essential function of any local authority. Municipal sewage, i.e. sewage produced in a town or city, is high in both solids and nutrients, which if left untreated, can cause significant environmental pollution. The purpose of wastewater treatment is to collect and treat municipal sewage to an acceptable standard and to discharge the treated water to a suitable watercourse (e.g. a local river). It is therefore critical that the treated water does not negatively impact on the quality of the receiving waters.
Offaly County Council operates 29 Waste Water Treatment Works throughout the County. These are sized based on the population they serve - the smallest is located in Rahan and the largest in Tullamore.
Until recently, the required standard for treated wastewater was set out under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001. However, this is now being replaced with a licensing system, which is regulated and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wastewater Treatment Works serving a population equivalent of 500 or over will be now be issued with a Discharge Licence, while treatment works serving a population equivalent of less than 500 will be issued with a Certificate of Authorisation. These Licences / Certs are specific to what is leaving the treatment works (i.e. the discharge) with many containing more stringent monitoring requirements. The legislation which gave rise to this licensing system is the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations, 2007 (S.I. 684 of 2007). Three Discharge Licences and 15 Certificates of Authorisation have been granted to date – please refer to the Discharge Licences and COAs section.