6 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, are delighted to announce that raw sewage from Cobh Town is now being treated. This is a big milstone in the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage project.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin officially today opened the Cork Dockyard Pumping Station, which transfers raw sewage from Cobh for treatment – a significant milestone in the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project to end the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage into Cork Lower Harbour, protecting the environment and supporting the sustainable development and growth of local communities in the years to come.
Before works began on the Cork Lower Harbour Project, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage was discharging into Cork Harbour every day.
Irish Water constructed a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant in Shanbally, and connected existing networks in Crosshaven and Carrigaline to the plant, so that half of this sewage was treated by 2017.
The sewer network was then expanded to connect the towns of Ringaskiddy and Shanbally, in 2018 followed by Passage West and Monkstown in early 2019.
A vital link between Cobh and Monkstown was then created by completing two of the longest horizontal directional drills in the country to install sewer pipes over 1km long, some 60m below the Lee Estuary.
The last part of the project was the Cobh Networks Contract. This included building 7km of sewer pipes and five pumping stations in Cobh. This expanded network collects the raw sewage from the town of Cobh that, until now, discharged untreated through 19 outfall pipes directly to the harbour. The raw sewage is pumped to the Cork Dockyard pumping station and then transferred for treatment to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant via the Lee Estuary Crossing before its safe discharge to sea.
The Cobh Networks Contract has been delivered safely and successfully through a huge collaborative effort between Irish Water, Cork County Council, Nicholas O Dwyer, Farrans Sorensen Joint Venture and of course, all the communities, landowners and businesses in Cobh, Monkstown and the Cork Lower Harbour area.
Irish Water would particularly like to thank all these communities for your patience and cooperation as we delivered these works.
This last step in the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project means that all wastewater from the agglomerations of Ringaskiddy-Crosshaven-Carrigaline; Ringaskiddy village; Passage West-Monkstown; and Cobh Town is now being treated, in compliance with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive:
This means 20,000 homes and businesses are now connected to the new scheme and that raw sewage from these areas no longer discharges into the harbour, positively impacting the local economy and greatly improving the amenity value of the Cork Lower Harbour for the surrounding communities.
For more information on the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage project please visit www.water.ie/corklowerharbour.