Sewage from the equivalent of 88,000 people is being pumped into the environment from the 38 areas

Untreated sewage is still being pumped into our seas and waterways from 38 towns and villages around the country.

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency has warned that Irish Water is not investing quickly enough in waste water treatment infrastructure.

The report finds that raw sewage from the equivalent of 88,000 people is being pumped into the environment from the 38 areas.

Meanwhile, plants at Dublin and Cork are among 28 around the country with waste water treatment facilities that fail to meet standards set to prevent pollution and protect public health.

The EPA said the deficiencies in many treatment plants and public sewers are due to a “legacy of underinvestment.”

However, spokesperson Darragh Page said Irish Water is not meeting its own targets for dealing with the issue.

“The level of investment by Irish Water is not up to what they have said in their own investment plan,” he said.

“Their investment plan committed to spending an average €326m per year on waste water infrastructure and what we have seen is in 2017 they only spent €215m.

“Clearly they are going to have to accelerate the pace of investment over the coming years to 2021 to make sure that they address these shortcomings that we are seeing in our report.”