Green Award for Irish Water project to deliver sustainable wastewater treatment for Co. Kerry village

25 April 2022

Irish Water and its partners VESI Environmental and Kerry County Council have received a prestigious Green Award for an innovative project to deliver sustainable, low energy wastewater treatment to the village of Lixnaw in Co. Kerry.

The project to develop an Integrated Constructed Wetland for the North Kerry village took top prize in the Green Technology category of the awards which celebrate green business and sustainability.

An Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) is a sustainable, natural wastewater treatment system that is designed to look and function in a similar way to a natural wetland. It is an environmentally friendly way to treat wastewater with reduced operational and maintenance costs, as well as biodiversity creation, while also reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. As well as ensuring that wastewater from the village is treated in full compliance with wastewater discharge regulations, the project also adds biodiversity value to the area by providing a habitat for local wildlife while remaining sensitive to the surrounding landscape.

Accepting the award on behalf of Irish Water and its partners Kerry County Council and Waterford-based VESI Environmental, Irish Water’s head of Asset Management Sean Laffey, said, “We are delighted to receive this recognition for what is a landmark project for Irish Water. We are putting sustainability at the heart of everything we do and a project like this one in Lixnaw demonstrates how we can work together with local communities to deliver innovate solutions to support sustainable growth and development which also enhancing the local environment. We would like to thank the people of Lixnaw, and our partners Kerry County Council and VESI Environmental, for their support in the delivery of this important project.

Aila Carty from VESI Environmental said, “VESI is delighted that Lixnaw village ICW has won the Green Technology award, as it comprehensively demonstrates how the delivery of sustainable technology and associated innovations can bring real benefits to the environment and to communities around the country. It addresses local social and economic needs, while also supporting biodiversity and enhancing our precious environment, all delivered as a cost effective and low maintenance solution. This project at Lixnaw has inspired community-led initiatives around the country. It is with thanks to all involved during the project that has given its success”.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney paid tribute to the staff of Kerry County Council and Irish Water for their work on this important infrastructure.

Integrated Constructed Wetlands run at about one tenth of the operational costs associated with a conventional wastewater treatment plant and they do not require the addition of chemicals to treat wastewater. Another big benefit of this technology is carbon sequestration; over the lifespan of this project, its carbon footprint will be negative as the amount of carbon sequestered will be far greater than that used in the build

The project was delivered by Irish Water in partnership with Kerry County Council and through close collaboration with VESI Environmental Ltd, IE Consulting Ltd., and Healy Rae Plant Hire Ltd. who have constructed the ICW on behalf of Irish Water. Irish Water invested €2 million in this project. 

For more details see our Lixnaw Integrated Constructed Wetlands project page.

Irish Water was also shortlisted in two other categories of the awards, Green Public Sector Organisation of the Year and the Sustainable Energy Achievement Award.