8 September 2015
By Tom Collins
They used to be called sewerage works, but now they are “wastewater treatment plants”, but regardless of the changing terms today is a good day for Cork Harbour.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD, this morning turned the sod to mark the start of construction by Irish Water of a new wastewater treatment plant at Shanbally in Co. Cork as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. The project includes an overall investment of €91 million and will create approximately 50 jobs during the construction phase.
The project – which has been in the pipeline for some time – will end the practice of untreated sewage being discharged directly into the harbour from Cobh, Carrigaline (including Crosshaven), Passage West/Monkstown (including Glenbrook) and Ringaskiddy (including Shanbally and Coolmore). So, for the first time in the history of the state sewerage from those areas will be treated. This will be hailed as one of the successes of Irish Water.
Commenting on the Project, Minister Kelly said, ‘The implementation of the Cork Lower Harbour Project is required to protect the environment and to facilitate economic development in the communities around the Lower Harbour. The overall project which includes new pipes, pumping stations and the treatment plant, has been sized to accommodate an increase in the local population. Irish Water and Cork County Council are making this long term investment in Cork. Furthermore it will ensure that the water quality standards set down by regulatory bodies will be achieved and this will help Ireland to avoid substantial penalties.’
Irish water comments
Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management at Irish Water said, ‘Irish Water’s priority is to develop infrastructure capable of providing quality wastewater services across the country. The development of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant will improve the service for local communities around the Lower Harbour and it will also bring health and environmental benefits to the growing local population as well as improved water quality for all who enjoy the wonderful natural resource.’
‘Irish Water wishes to acknowledge the work carried out to date by Cork County Council. We’re very much looking forward to delivering this project in partnership with Cork County Council and the local community.”
Irish Water will continue to engage with local stakeholders to keep them aware of the progress of the project and any works which may affect the local community. For further information on the Cork Lower Harbour Project log onto www.water.ie/corklowerharbour
Irish water facts
Irish Water invested €340m in improving water and waste water services in 2014 and will invest over €410 million in improving water services during 2015. This spend will increase over subsequent years.
Capital investment in the region of €600m per year is required for a sustained period of several decades, to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure.