3 December 2015
By Elaine Murphy
Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, today officially opened the recently upgraded wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty. The project, completed in partnership with Cork County Council, primarily upgraded the Clonakilty Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as 13 other plants around the County, to the value of €7 million. The works were carried out by Electrical & Pump Services Ltd. The wastewater treatment plant now has four times its previous capacity and uses brand new, state of the art Nereda® wastewater technology.
The project also included an upgrade to the main pumping station at Long Quay, providing additional capacity for storm water storage that will significantly reduce the frequency of overflow to Clonakilty Bay at Croppy Park.
Clonakilty Harbour is a Heritage and Conservation area
One of the primary drivers for this project was the protection of Clonakilty Harbour, classified as a National Heritage Area, Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area. The protection of water quality in the bay to maintain Inchydoney as a Blue Flag Beach is a key benefit of this project for County Cork.
What is Nerada?
Nereda® Wastewater Technology facilitates the treatment of wastewater within a third of the footprint of conventional wastewater treatment processes. It also reduces the volume of sludge produced and chemicals used during the operational phase of a plant, thus achieving a more environmentally and economically sustainable wastewater treatment solution. The wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty is the first plant constructed in Ireland and the UK using Nereda® technology and the first in the world that is built mostly underground to minimise the visual impact.
Comment from Irish Water
Commenting on the project, Michael Tinsley, Wastewater Capital Programme Lead at Irish Water said, ‘Irish Water is delighted to officially open the award-winning Clonakilty wastewater treatment plant, where state of the art technology has been used to increase the capacity of the plant. The newly upgraded plant will support ongoing economic development and job creation in Clonakilty, as well as Inchydoney, and Ring. The work carried by Irish Water means the area will continue to grow and its growth will be sustained by a modern and reliable wastewater treatment infrastructure.
In addition, the facility has dealt with a long running odour issue in Clonakilty because of the heavily overloaded old plant and most importantly it will significantly enhance water quality in Clonakilty Bay for the benefit of locals and the many tourists that visit the area.’ Michael concluded.
Comment from Deputy Mayor of Co Cork
Deputy Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. Joe Carroll said ‘This extended facility in Clonakilty incorporates new and innovative treatment technology and we are very proud of the fact that Cork County Council & Irish Water recently won an Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for the project. This was deserving recognition for the combined efforts of the Council’s engineering staff and Irish Water in the design and construction of the treatment plant.’
Clonakilty Wastewater Treatment Plant won the ‘Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award’ at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards recently. The awards featured projects from across the country that embodied the best in engineering creativity while also making significant contributions to local communities and the national economy.
Background to Irish Water investments
Irish Water invested €340 million 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 further over subsequent years. Capital investment in the region of €600 million per year is required for a sustained period of several decades to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s recently published Business Plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.