Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, with the support of Galway County Council, has signed a contract for construction of a new wastewater treatment plant for Kinvara. The contract includes the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and marine outfall pipe and will end the current and unacceptable practice where untreated sewage is discharged directly into Kinvara Bay. A separate contract to upgrade the town’s sewer network is also expected to be signed within the coming weeks. The combined investment of over €5.1 million is essential in meeting the current and future needs of the many homes and businesses in Kinvara and the town’s thriving tourist industry.

Works will include the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, catering for a population equivalent (PE) of 1,300, a new marine outfall pipe for the effective discharge of treated wastewater and the significant upgrade of the town sewers. The wastewater treatment plant, which will be located to the north west of Kinvara in the townland of Ballybranagan, will also have additional capacity to cater for peaks during the tourist season. The site also allows for any future expansion to support population growth.

The contractor is expected to commence the final design of the wastewater treatment plant in November 2015, with works commencing at the site in early 2016. Irish Water expects to have completed construction of the new wastewater treatment plant, the new marine outfall pipe and the upgrade of the sewer network in early 2017.

Kinvara is one of the 44 towns in Ireland where untreated sewage is discharged directly into the sea. Once these works are completed all the raw sewage in the town will be collected and directed to the new wastewater treatment plant. The treated wastewater will then be safely discharged to Kinvara Bay via the new marine outfall pipe. This will result in the improvement of water quality at bathing waters in the Estuary ensuring compliance with the Bathing Water and Urban Wastewater Treatment Directives.

Commenting on the investment Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly TD said, ‘The partnership between Irish Water and Galway County Council in the signing of the contract to build the Kinvara Wastewater Treatment Plant water treatment plant typifies the partnership between local authority expertise in assets management and operations and the network and utility management experience in Irish Water. I know this partnership will help deliver further progress in improving the quality of water supply and services in the years ahead in Galway and nationwide.’

This is an essential piece of infrastructure for Kinvara,” said Sean Corrigan, Regional Information Officer, Irish Water. “We are delighted that significant progress is being made on this project with a view to delivering the infrastructure as quickly as possible, and resolving this longstanding and unacceptable situation. This is an example of the type of projects Irish Water is prioritising to ensure we address the most critical deficiencies in the network as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. We look forward to working with the community of Kinvara to complete this project and provide the town with a treatment plant and upgraded sewer network that are much needed and long awaited.”

This is a very welcome and good news project for our community,” said Councillor Joe Byrne. “A modern wastewater treatment infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of the many homes and businesses in Kinvara and the peak demands experienced during our tourist season is critical for the town’s continued social and economic development.”

In addition, Irish Water is working on proposals costing approximately €0.5m to connect a number of private housing developments to the Kinvara Sewerage Scheme. We are hopeful of funding approval by the regulator for these works which will enable decommissioning of the existing private on site wastewater treatment units and connecting them directly to the public sewer networks, either by a gravity sewer or a pumped system. Irish Water would hope to be able to proceed with these works in tandem with the commissioning of the new treatment plant in early 2017.

Irish Water invested €340 million 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 further over subsequent years. Capital investment in the region of €600 million per year is required for a sustained period of several decades to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s recently published Business Plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.


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