Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland recently upgraded the 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 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.
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.
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.
The innovative upgrade of the Clonakilty Wastewater Treatment Plant has been recognised nationally and has recently been awarded the ‘Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award’ at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards and also came first in the “most significant contribution to water quality” category at the Annual Community and Council awards in Dublin which was hosted by LAMA (Local Authorities Members’ Association) which represents county and city councillors nationwide.