22 May 2015 Go back to News
Discharge of untreated wastewater into our rivers and waterways is 'No longer acceptable'
Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, in partnership with Mayo County Council, is prioritising the construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant for Belmullet. This will address the unacceptable situation where untreated wastewater is currently being discharged into Broadhaven Bay. The project will involve a significant investment the details of which will be published when the contract is awarded in January 2016. Works are expected to start in Q1 2016 and be completed by Q3 2017.
The objectives of the project are to put measures in place to comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewater Discharge Licence and to enhance the status of Broadhaven Bay which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA).
New Wastewater Treatment Plant
To this end Irish Water proposes to build a new wastewater treatment plant on a greenfield site, at Corclough, together with a new treated water outfall into Blacksod Bay. The new plant will have a capacity capable of treating a population equivalent of 2,500 and will provide preliminary treatment, extended aeration and tertiary treatment (ultra violet disinfection). The plant will be built in modular configuration to facilitate future expansion, if required, and will be designed to achieve a number of strict final treatment standards to ensure the future environmental protection of Broadhaven Bay.
Upgrade of Existing Wastewater Collection Network
Significant construction work will be required on the existing wastewater collection network in order to remove untreated overflows, rectify structural defects and to reconfigure the network to convey wastewater to the new treatment works site. This work will include the construction of two new pumping stations, rising mains, new combined sewers and the rehabilitation of existing sewers and manholes.
Contract to be Awarded in January 2016
The tendering process for the project has commenced with the publication of a notice on the national procurement website (eTenders) on 28 April 2015 inviting suitably qualified contractors to be considered for inclusion on a shortlisted panel of contractors. Short-listed contractors will subsequently be invited to tender for the project. Following this two stage tendering process, Irish Water plan to have a contract signed by the end of January 2016.
Sean Corrigan, Regional Information Officer, North West Region, Irish Water said; “The delivery of a new wastewater treatment plant for Belmullet is urgently needed and we have prioritised this project to address the unacceptable situation where untreated wastewater is currently discharged into Broadhaven Bay. This project together with similar projects for Charlestown, Foxford and Killala are a priority for Irish Water and form part of a programme of investment that Irish Water is delivering across the country to address the significant deficiencies in our water and wastewater infrastructure. We are focused on prioritising projects that will deliver the greatest environmental and economic benefit to the communities we serve.”
The project was also welcomed by Councillor Gerry Coyle; “Belmullet is a modern and vibrant town at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, attracting many visitors and it deserves top quality facilities. This investment is long overdue and I am delighted that Irish Water has progressed the project to start up stage." Councillor Coyle also thanked Mayo county staff for their efforts and support for the project.
Belmullet is one of the 44 urban centres identified in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Urban Waste Water Report 2013 where untreated wastewater is discharged directly into a receiving water (inland waterway or coastal sea area). Irish Water is taking a national approach to the provision of water and wastewater services and projects such as this in Belmullet are being prioritised for investment.
Irish Water invested €340m in improving water and wastewater 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.