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Clonakilty plant joins Belgooly engineer on awards shortlist

October 28th, 2015 8:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

The new wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty uses new state-of-the-art technology.

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WEST Cork has been nominated twice in the shortlist of the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2015.

Belgooly engineer Anthony Heery has been shortlisted for the ‘Chartered Engineer of the Year Award’, sponsored by Arup, while Cork County Council has been nominated for the Clonakilty Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Anthony Heery has been recognised for his project which focuses on developing better performance in Offshore Wind Turbine systems in terms of cost and capability.

Professor Jerry Murphy of UCC and Brendan Meaghar of Keith Tully of BAM Contractors are also shortlisted entries in the ‘Best Paper/Presentation Award’ category.

In recognising Clonakilty for the award, the judges said that while Clonakilty is heavily reliant on tourism, it also boasts a sizeable contribution from local commerce and industries. 

Up to this year, the judges said in their report, the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) serving the town and its environs was at capacity and considerable constraints and impediments were placed on any proposed developments. 

Clonakilty’s new WWTP is constructed very close to the town centre on reclaimed land on the sea front and immediately adjacent to the Model Railway Village, a popular tourist attraction, the judges pointed out.

Referring to the previous system, the report noted that ‘the process had become overloaded … due primarily to the increase in domestic and tourist populations. This resulted in a doubling of loadings to the plant to over 10,000 person equivalent, giving rise to very severe odours which were impacting on local residents, tourism and trade, notwithstanding the obvious capacity constraints’.

A further factor for consideration in the upgrade of the existing WWTP was that the treated effluent discharged to Clonakilty Bay which is in a proposed Natural Heritage Area, a candidate Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and designated bathing waters, said the judges. 

‘The design of the new Waste Water Treatment had to deliver significantly improved effluent quality levels, thereby reducing any deleterious effect on the receiving environmentally sensitive waters. In the design and development of the required WWTP, a new, innovative and viable waste water treatment technology was identified as the selected option for the proposed plant. The pioneering process, which was developed in the Netherlands, is called Nereda.’

The report added: ‘In choosing this technology Cork County Council in partnership with Irish Water have become early adopters of this revolutionary technology. The Clonakilty plant took first flows in May 2015.’

Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on November 6 in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin.

For more on the awards and to vote, log onto http://www.engineersireland.ie/awards/excellence-awards.aspx.

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