Irish Water applies for planning permission for a new sewerage scheme in Whitegate and Aghada

24 November 2020

Irish Water has submitted a planning application to Cork County Council to construct a new sewerage scheme in the Whitegate and Aghada areas of County Cork. The proposed project will bring benefits to the area in terms of health, protection of the environment and improved water quality for all.

Irish Water will deliver this project in partnership with Cork County Council and it will involve the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and sewerage infrastructure, which will eliminate the discharge of untreated wastewater from the Whitegate and Aghada areas into Cork Harbour.

The new wastewater treatment plant will bring big benefits to the area, including an enhancement of its amenity value, as well as a platform for social and economic development. The new plant, sewer pipes and pumping stations will all be sized to accommodate future population growth.

Ensuring that all discharges meet the requirements set out in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive will help protect the receiving waters of Cork Harbour. This in turn will enhance the tourism and amenity value of Whitegate, Aghada and surrounding areas, while also providing a platform for future growth.

Discussing the project, Anthony Kavanagh, Irish Water’s Regional Delivery Lead, said: “The Whitegate and Aghada areas enjoy a beautiful coastal location and provide an amenity for those living in the area and visitors alike. By ending the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated wastewater from these areas into Cork Harbour, this project will boost the area by enhancing the local environment, protecting health and supporting economic development.

With tourism and water-based activities becoming ever more popular, the importance of providing effective treatment of wastewater cannot be overstated, both for those who live and work in this area and for the many visitors to this beautiful part of County Cork. Cleaner water will mean a lot to those who enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, boating and sightseeing in the area. The project will protect local bathing water and shellfish waters in the area too.

Irish Water, together with our partners in Cork County Council, is confident that this scheme will bring significant benefits to the Whitegate and Aghada areas and Cork Harbour for many years to come.

This project is being delivered as part of Irish Water’s investment plan. Irish Water’s investment plan prioritises key outcomes such as leakage, water supply zones removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List, areas where there is raw sewage entering the rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations), and areas identified by the European Court of Justice under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

In County Cork, projects are also underway to end the discharge of untreated wastewater including the recently completed sewerage scheme in Courtmacsherry and Timoleague, as well as Cork Lower Harbour which is currently on-going, while the Castletownbere Sewerage Scheme is expected to commence in 2021. Irish Water is also progressing with projects for the remaining untreated agglomerations in Cork, with a planning application lodged for Inchigeelagh earlier in the year and applications to be submitted in the coming months for Ballycotton and Castletownshend.

For more information on this and other projects, visit the Projects and Plans section of the Irish Water website.