Irish Water will save over €20,000 per annum in operational costs over the next decade using environmentally friendly processes at the Moylough and Killimor Wastewater Treatment Plants in Co Galway.

A sludge drying reed bed, which acts as a natural filter for the sludge (slurry) which comes out of the wastewater treatment plants, will eliminate the removal of sludge off-site for separate processing. This cost-saving system will have numerous environmental, compliance, performance and financial rewards. It is effectively nature’s way of dealing with a man-made problem.

Among those benefits are the removal of tankers carrying sludge from the roads, habitat creation at the treatment plant, greater controls for the caretaker, greater compliance and a reduction in overflow to rivers.

It is savings like these that add up to the €100 million that has been saved by Irish Water over the past two years,” commented Patrick Real, Irish Water’s Water and Wastewater Process Optimisation Lead for Galway.

Mr Real added: “These savings can now be reinvested into areas like Kinvara or Loughrea where ongoing works are continuing and which are of great benefit to the local community.”
Mr Real paid tribute to the local process optimisation team who are constantly developing and implementing cost saving measures at water and wastewater treatment plants across the region. “The outstanding level of expertise that is available in Irish Water means that small tweaks in production or larger scale cost saving measures are constantly being identified and rolled out across the country. This kind of joined up thinking wasn’t previously possible
,” explained Mr Real. He also acknowledged Galway County Council for their contribution to this project.

Reed bed technology involves low construction costs and minimal day-to-day operation and maintenance costs and is suitable for wastewater treatment plants servicing less than 1,000 people. The Moylough Wastewater Treatment Plant services approximately 450 people, while Killimor services approximately 414 people.

The implementation cost of this process at the two plants and other wastewater treatment plants in Co Galway will be paid back in less than one and a half years.

Flint Walter, Water and Wastewater Process Optimisation Analyst, North West explained the process further: “The implementation of these reed beds at Moylough and Killimor involves the use of redundant assets. The existing storage chambers were already in place but weren’t in use. Irish Water retrofitted these chambers to construct the reed beds and we are delighted to be able to bring all the benefits associated with reed beds to these Wastewater Treatment Plants.”

Mr Walter also complimented GlanAgua, a Loughrea based company, for delivering both of these projects on time and within budget on behalf of Irish Water.


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