Sewage in the streets of Athlone
No, I’m really serious.
Okay, so I know the Romans never made it up this way to install their prototype sewage systems and I know the bog is a fabulous natural filter for all kinds of . . . eh . . . stuff. But I was riding along the Connacht side of town through a puddle that has been there for going on two weeks. Now the Shannon waters are high, but they’ve receded enough that they’re no longer flooding the road – there’s no way this puddle is spill from the river. Suddenly, I recalled seeing lots of half-disintegrated paper in the giant puddle recently. Then I saw the sewage pump truck.
Curious, I pulled over and asked about the . . . water, we’ll call it. The operator of the vehicle got a pained expression on his face.
“Eh, yeah,” he said, “that’s what it is all right. See, there’s a tank over there and what with the Shannon being so high it can’t drain properly, so it’s coming up here.” He gestured around at the flooding in the street. “It’s a bit of a fucking disaster, to be honest. If I was you, I’d stay that side of the road.” he gestured at the drier side of the street.
Images of me pushing the munchkin in her buggy through the unavoidable puddles came to mind. I’m not the only parent on this side of town walking through here. I looked at the wellies on the sanitation worker.
I feel a bit sick, to be honest. Some billion euro town centre development rising in modern steel just a stone’s throw from here and we’ve got open sewers in our streets. Fecking disgraceful. This has been like this for at least two weeks.
God help us if people start getting sick.