JUST days before severe flooding hit its neighbour town, Clonakilty was celebrating the opening of its award-winning water treatment plant.
Irish Water officially opened the recently upgraded wastewater treatment plant, completed in partnership with Cork County Council last week.
The works were carried out by Electrical & Pump Services Ltd. The wastewater treatment plant now has four times its previous capacity and uses brand new, state of the art wastewater technology, says Irish Water.
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.
The technology employed 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 this technology and the first in the world that is built mostly underground to minimise the visual impact.
In addition, the facility has dealt with a long running odour issue in Clonakilty because of the heavily overloaded old plant and most importantly it will significantly enhance water quality in Clonakilty Bay.
The project recently won an Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for the project. This was deserving recognition for the combined efforts of the Council’s engineering staff and Irish Water in the design and construction of the treatment plant.’
The plant won the ‘Local Authority Engineering Initiative Award’ at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards recently. The awards featured projects from across the country that embodied the best in engineering creativity while also making significant contributions to local communities and the national economy.