18 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Irish Water and Cork County Council are pleased to announce the completion of the Courtmacsherry-Timoleague Sewerage Scheme and the end of the decades-long practice of discharging untreated wastewater into local waterways.
This will bring big benefits to the area in terms of health, protection of the environment and improved water quality for all.
By ensuring that all discharges meet the requirements as set out in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, it will help protect the receiving waters of the Argideen River. This in turn will enhance the tourism and amenity value of Courtmacsherry, Timoleague and the bathing waters in Coolmaine, while also providing a platform for future growth in the area.
Announcing the completion of the project, Michael Tinsley, Irish Water’s Wastewater Portfolio Delivery Manager, said: “Courtmacsherry and Timoleague are thriving communities and popular tourist destinations in West Cork. By ending the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated wastewater into the local waterways, this project is a major boost for the area by enhancing the environment, protecting health and supporting economic development.
“With tourism and water-based activities playing such a crucial role in all aspects of life in this area, the importance of providing effective treatment of wastewater cannot be overstated, both for those who live and work here and for the many visitors to this most scenic part of West Cork.
“This project represented a €10m investment and, together with our partners in Cork County Council, we are proud to have played our part in supporting the ongoing growth and development of this area. We are confident that this scheme will bring very significant benefits to both these villages and the surrounding areas for years to come.”
On welcoming the conclusion of the project, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle commented, “The completion of the Courtmacsherry Timoleague scheme is very welcome news for the local community and for County Cork as a whole, who take great pride in this beautiful area. Courtmacsherry bay is home to some of the most idyllic seaside views in Ireland, an invaluable and irreplaceable habitat for water birds and aquatic wildlife, and a hospitable community who leave a lasting warm impression on everyone who visits. Home to phenomenal tourism and hospitality businesses, Courtmacsherry & Timoleague play an important role in the wider economy, heritage and business community of West Cork. The completion of this project enhances the strength of these villages and will enable the people there to thrive long into the future, supporting growth locally and in the surrounding area.”
The project included the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant at Cullenagh, Courtmacsherry to serve a population equivalent of 2,500; new pumping stations at Courtmacsherry and Timoleague; 750m of new sewer in Timoleague and upgrades to the existing sewer network. The new wastewater treatment plant and network have all been designed to accommodate an increase in the local population into the future. The project was delivered by Glan Agua Ltd on behalf of Irish Water and Cork County Council.
Stephen Finn, Chairperson of Courtmacsherry Development Association said, “The completion of this project is a source of extreme satisfaction within our community. For over twenty-five years we have been actively campaigning for delivery of this vital part of infrastructure. Along with the environmental and health benefits that will accrue, it also further enhances the tourism and amenity value of Courtmacsherry, Timoleague and Coolmaine whilst also providing a platform for future growth.
Knowing that untreated wastewater is no longer flowing out into the bay is very significant in terms of protecting our environment and will be of great benefit to us, our visitors and future generations. We take this opportunity in thanking everyone for their forbearance during the construction phase of this project. We would also like to pay tribute to Irish Water, Cork County Council, Glan Aqua and MEIC for delivering this project and keeping us informed throughout. As chairperson, I also want to acknowledge the work of our own sub-committee.”
This project was delivered as part of Irish Water’s investment plan. Irish Water’s investment plan prioritises key outcomes such as leakage, water supply zones removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List, areas where there is raw sewage entering the rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations), and areas identified by the European Court of Justice under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
In County Cork, projects are also underway to end the discharge of untreated wastewater in Cork Lower Harbour, Whitegate-Aghada, Ballycotton, Castletownbere, Castletownshend and Inchigeelagh.
For more information on this and other projects, visit the Projects and Plans section of the Irish Water website.