7 October 2022
By Tom Collins
It was a historic occasion for Co Cork this morning as Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, officially opened four new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facilities following a €27m investment to safeguard the environment and support a sustainable future for the locality.
The new treatment plants and supporting infrastructure in Coachford, Innishannon, Dripsey & Baile Bhúirne and Baile Mhic Íre will ensure that treated wastewater is now fully compliant with EU Urban Wastewater Directives before being safely discharged back into the natural environment. It will also enable future growth and development in the area.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Danny Collins said “I am delighted to be here to witness the successful completion and official opening of Innishannon, Coachford, Dripsey and Baile Bhuirne/Baile Mhic Ire Wastewater Treatment Plants which mark a €27 million investment in new wastewater infrastructure. Completion of these essential projects is vital to ensure we can accommodate future population growth of the villages and the surrounding areas in these communities. The upgrades to the four wastewater treatment plants will ensure that wastewater is adequately treated and meets appropriate standards before being safely discharged back into the environment. All these elements combined will enhance local amenities and act as a platform for social and economic development. This is another on-the-ground example of government investment in Cork County yielding significant dividends.”
Paul Fallon, Programme Manager for Irish Water said, “Today is a significant day for the people in Coachford, Innishannon, Dripsey and Baile Bhúirne and Baile Mhic Íre and surrounding areas. We have invested €27 million in the construction of four new wastewater treatment plants and associated infrastructure in these areas. This new infrastructure will improve the wastewater treatment quality, allow for additional housing to be developed, and ensures compliance with wastewater discharge regulations.
“Along with our partners, Cork County Council, and contractors EPS, we have worked closely with all communities associated with the Cork Mid-West Sewerage Scheme since we first turned the sod back in 2019.
“The construction of these four new wastewater treatment plants will end the discharge of poorly treated effluent, improve water quality in the receiving waters, enhance local amenities and will act as platform for social and economic development.
“On behalf of Irish Water, I would like to thank our colleagues in Cork County Council for their continued work on a daily basis, and also EPS who have constructed these four treatment plants. Finally, I would like to thank the local communities and businesses for their support in delivering this vital project.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how, “This investment in new wastewater infrastructure will benefit almost 6,000 people while catering for projected growth in these settlements. Cork County Council brought these treatment plants through preliminary report stage prior to the establishment of Irish Water and their completion is highly significant from an environmental, economic and social perspective. In partnership with Irish Water, Cork County Council always welcomes such infrastructure which bring real benefit to local communities.”
Sharon O’Driscoll, Principal of Coachford National School said,
“Our students and staff are very passionate about the environment and anything that enhances and protects it. We have been awarded six Green School Flags and we also have a prize-winning garden ‘Tír Draíochta’. Last June we were delighted to win a Gold Medal Award in the Schools Garden Competition for the amazing work we did in creating and maintaining it.
“Projects like this new wastewater treatment plant here in Coachford ensure our local environment, like our school garden, will be protected and helps our community to continue thriving.”
Coachford – Construction of new wastewater treatment plant, which will serve a population equivalent of approximately 1,600, upgrades to the sewer network and construction of a new outfall pipeline.
Innishannon – Construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and upgrades to the existing sewer network which will serve a population equivalent of approximately 1,600.
Dripsey – Construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and upgrades to the sewer networks to serve Dripsey and the surrounding local area, serving a population equivalent of approximately 600.
Baile Bhúirne and Baile Mhic Íre (Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera) – Construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, which will serve a population of approximately 2,600, an outfall pipe and upgrade works to the existing pumping station and new rising main.
The scheme also involved the decommissioning and demolition of the old septic tanks at sites in Coachford, Innishannon and Baile Bhúirne and Baile Mhic Íre, and the old treatment plant in Dripsey.
Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.