Irish Water today welcomed members of the local community to view upgrades to the value of €7 million at Clonakilty, Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project, which is in the final stages of construction, will provide four times the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty using state of the art technology. The project also includes an upgrade to the main pumping station at Long Quay and provides additional capacity for storm water storage at Long Quay, which will significantly reduce the frequency of overflow to Clonakilty Bay at Croppy Park. One of the primary drivers for this project is the protection of Clonakilty Harbour, classified as a National Heritage Area, Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area. The protection of water quality in the bay to maintain Inchydoney as a Blue Flag Beach is a key benefit of this project for Cork County.

The upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty will involve the use of new state of the art Nereda® Wastewater Technology. This technology facilitates treatment of wastewater within a third of the footprint compared with conventional wastewater treatment processes. It also reduces the volume of sludge produced and chemicals consumed during the operational phase of a plant, thus achieving a more environmentally and economically sustainable wastewater treatment solution. The wastewater treatment plant in Clonakilty is the first plant constructed in Ireland and the UK using Nereda® technology and the first in the world that is built mostly underground to minimise the visual impact.

Construction work on the wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Clonakilty is almost complete. The new plant is already accepting wastewater for treatment, with the commissioning process underway. A proactive programme is well advanced to ensure that effluent discharges from the treatment facility meet the EPA license requirements, thus improving the quality of the receiving waters for the key summer period, as well as tackling odour issues, which have long been a problem due to the outdated infrastructure serving the town. The upgrade of the Long Quay pumping station and the provision of additional storm water storage capacity at Long Quay are substantially complete. The minor upgrade of thirteen other wastewater treatment plants in Cork County is also included as part of this Contract and these are also now substantially complete.

Commenting on the project, Aisling Buckley of Irish Water said, ‘The wastewater capacity in Clonakilty and surrounding areas, including Inchydoney, Ring and Shannonvale, has come under increasing pressure in recent years due to development in the town and its hinterland. The work being carried out by Irish Water will greatly increase the capacity of wastewater treatment for Clonakilty and surrounding areas for the benefit of both residents and local industry. We have invited representatives of the community to visit the new wastewater treatment plant today, to meet the project team and see this new facility that will significantly enhance water quality here in Clonakilty Bay for the benefit of locals and tourists alike.’ Aisling concluded.

Kim McNamara, Manager of the West Cork Model Railway Village said, ‘Clonakilty is renowned as the beach centre of West Cork with mass tourism appeal. The Town’s success as a tourist area is largely dependent on its coastal location and the world famous Blue Flag Beach at Inchydoney, not forgetting the wonderful Model Railway Village. Adequate wastewater capacity is vital to ensure that existing industry continues to thrive in Clonakilty, allowing room for new development, whilst maintaining a clean coast and enhancing this beautiful part of West Cork. The Model Railway Village welcomes this project to Clonakilty. The historic odour problems that occurred in the town due to the limited capacity of the old plant have been significantly improved by the upgraded plant. We look forward to continuing to operate our business next to the new plant and look forward to the improvements it will bring, especially reduced odours. We have already noticed a substantial improvement since the new plant began operating in recent weeks.’


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