Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council officially opens new wastewater treatment plant on Valentia Island.

Residents and visitors to one of Ireland’s most scenic locations will benefit from cleaner bathing waters and a healthier coastal environment as a result of the completion of a €250,000 investment by Irish Water. The investment involved upgrading the Knightstown Wastewater Treatment plant on Valentia Island.

Joe Kennedy, Irish Water with Cllr John Sheahan and Moira Murrell, Kerry County Council

This essential upgrade work will also help support future population growth and sustainable economic development in the village. With a large influx of visitors to Knightstown during the busy summer season, it is essential that the wastewater treatment system has the capacity for the seasonal increase and fluctuation in population this entails.

Prior to this work being carried out, wastewater produced in Knightstown only received primary treatment in a septic tank before being discharged into the sea. This was an unsustainable situation with the potential to damage the marine environment and pose a threat to human health.

As a result of the completion of the project, all wastewater is now fully treated using state-of-the-art wastewater treatment technology, ensuring it can be returned safely back into the environment. The new plant also has a larger capacity of 700 population equivalent, enabling it to cater for the permanent population of Knightstown, as well as the large numbers of tourists the island attracts in summer.

The project, which was carried out by EPS Group on behalf of Irish Water, involved the construction of a new treatment plant and all ancillary works within the site of the existing plant. Sympathetic landscaping and screening ensures the site, which is located in a prominent coastal location, blends into the landscape. The work took 10 months to complete.

Joe Kennedy, Irish Water’s wastewater infrastructure regional lead, commented “We are proud to be here in Knightstown to mark the completion of this vital project. This is a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant with the capacity to cater not only for the village’s growing population but also the large numbers of visitors it attracts every year.

As a key location along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, protecting the island’s coastal environment is really important not just for the health of the marine ecosystem but also for the continued development of its tourism potential. As a result of the completion of this project we no longer have a situation where inadequately treated wastewater is being pumped into the sea. The benefits of this now and into the future are clear for all to see.”

Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Sheahan, unveiled a plaque made of local Valentia Slate to mark the official opening of the treatment plant.

“People come from all over the world to experience the unique heritage and stunning scenery of Valentia Island. A clean and healthy environment is an essential part of that experience. That is why this project is so important. Having a modern, effective wastewater treatment system protects the environment, supports economic development and safeguards the health of locals and visitors alike so that they can continue to enjoy all that this amazing place has to offer,” said Cllr Sheahan.


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