23 June 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Irish Water is to invest €1.3m million in flow monitoring and performance sampling equipment in wastewater treatment plants across County Cork as part of a nationwide project which will provide enhanced protection for our rivers and coastal waters. The project will also allow Irish Water to identify where investment is needed in the wastewater infrastructure to facilitate future development in the county’s towns and villages.
This investment makes critical wastewater flow and load data available on a consistent basis for the first time ever, helping to improve the performance of the treatment plants while also helping protect the waterways into which treated wastewater is discharged. When it is completed, plant operators and engineers will have the data and tools to enable them to better manage the treatment processes, measure performance and react quicker to any sudden changes such as a storm event.
The Cork County Flow Monitoring and Sampling programme is already underway. Once the design phase is complete, flow measurement devices, storm event recorders and sampling equipment will be installed at approximately 46 wastewater treatment plants around the county. This project will also ensure compliance with EPA Wastewater Discharge Authorisations with respect to monitoring and sampling requirements.
This project is being rolled out under a national flow monitoring and sampling programme where approximately €10m is being invested across 400 wastewater treatment plants of varying sizes to comply with EPA licence requirements. This will help build flow and load profiles which in turn will help form strategies for upgrading, maintaining, improving plant efficiencies and ensuring we identify early where investment is required to meet future demands on wastewater infrastructure.
Paul Cremin, Irish Water’s Capital Programmes Regional Lead, said: “Protecting Ireland’s waterways and coastal areas is a key priority for Irish Water. Currently we collect wastewater from over 1,000 separate communities connected to the wastewater network and treat around 1.6 billion litres of wastewater daily before safely discharging it back into our rivers, harbours and coastal areas. This project will allow us to monitor and improve the quality of this discharge, thereby protecting our coasts and waterways.
“It will also allow us to determine the capacity requirements of our treatment plants to facilitate the growth of new communities and businesses. Overall it offers significant benefits for public health, the environment and economic development.”