Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, in partnership with Waterford City and County Council, has invested €1.7m to upgrade the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Lismore. Works are underway with construction due to be completed by November 2015.
The existing plant discharges treated wastewater into a highly ecologically sensitive area, the River Blackwater. Treatment standards need to be consistently very high to ensure the receiving waters are not adversely impacted. The project is critically important for the community and businesses of Lismore and the area’s thriving tourist industry. Lismore is world renowned for its fisheries and popular with both local and international anglers.
Once this work is completed, the improved treatment of wastewater at Lismore will significantly enhance the quality of water in the River Blackwater, with particular benefits to the salmon, lampreys and otters that flourish in the receiving rivers. Works will be completed well in advance of the 2016 angling season which runs from 1st February to the 12th October.
The upgrade works will provide a modern treatment plant capable of serving the existing and future residential and commercial development needs of the region. With the capacity to treat the population equivalent (p.e.) of 3,000, the newly upgraded plant will immediately meet the needs of the estimated 1,500 people it currently serves.
Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer, Southern Region, Irish Water said “Investments such as this on the upgrade of the Lismore Wastewater Plant are vital to ensuring we protect the receiving rivers and waterways which are so important to our tourist industry. We are delighted to have work underway at Lismore and scheduled for completion well in advance of the 2016 angling season.
“Improving the quality of wastewater treatment requires a programme of investment nationally to address the serious deficiencies that exist. This includes the completely unacceptable situation where there is no treatment at all of wastewater from 44 towns and villages across Ireland. This simply cannot be allowed to continue. Projects such as this one at Lismore show the type of investment required to deliver the urgently needed improvements.”
The investment was also welcomed by Mealla Fahey, Project Manager of Lismore Heritage Centre; “Many local and international tourists visit the heritage town of Lismore each year and the River Blackwater is one of the many features that attract people to the area, particularly for walks along its banks and angling. Lismore Heritage Centre welcomes this project to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and the improved environmental benefits it will bring to the River Blackwater for the community and visitors to the area.”
Irish Water invested €340m in improving water and waste water services in 2014 and will invest over €410 million in improving water services during 2015, this spend will increase over subsequent years. Capital investment of approximately €600m per year is required for a sustained period of several decades, in order to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure.