Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, in partnership with Wexford County Council, is investing €7.5m in a new Wastewater Treatment Scheme for Gorey. The project, which commenced in September 2014, is on schedule and expected to be completed in April 2016.
The existing Gorey treatment plant is overloaded and unable to meet the required treatment levels and capacity. As a result a new pumping station was commissioned and this currently diverts part of the treatment flows from Gorey to the Courtown Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project includes works to extend the treatment capacity of the Courtown plant to cater for all current and future treatment flows from the combined Gorey/Courtown catchment population. Treatment capacity at the plant will be increased from a current PE (population equivalent) of 12,000 to a design PE of 35,000.
Once completed the Gorey Wastewater Treatment plant, with the exception of the new pumping station, will be decommissioned. Existing treatment structures at Gorey will be converted to provide screening and stormwater storage.
The project will deliver many benefits for the communities of Gorey and Courtown including a wastewater treatment scheme that can facilitate current and future social and economic development. Improved treatment levels, compliant with EU directives and Irish Statutory requirements, will also improve the water quality in the Banoge River and local coastal areas.
Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer, Southern Region, Irish Water said; “This is an important project for Gorey and the surrounding communities. It will ensure that the infrastructure is in place to facilitate the future social and economic growth of the Gorey and Courtown areas, while also ensuring that the infrastructure is compliant with EU directive and Irish statutory requirements.”
Tourism is of great importance to the area and this investment will sustain and enhance the environment, by improving water quality in the Banoge River and helping to ensure a clean and safe coastal environment. This is just one of the ways that Irish Water is investing in a national programme to address the serious deficiencies in our wastewater infrastructure. We have inadequate treatment processes and in some cases untreated wastewater is being discharged directly into our rivers and waterways, and investment such as this in Gorey is long overdue.”
The works have been procured under a Design Build Operate (DBO) contract. In addition to the construction and extension works, the DBO Scheme will allow for the operation and maintenance (for 20 years) of the completed wastewater treatment plant at Courtown and pumping stations at Gorey, Courtown Harbour, Riverchapel, Ballinatray and Poulshone. The contract also includes the operation and maintenance of the interconnecting rising mains from these pumping stations to the Courtown plant, the existing outfall from the plant to the Irish Sea and the sludge facility at Courtown.
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 in the region of €600m per year is required for a sustained period of several decades, to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure.