1 April 2019 Go back to News
Irish Water moves closer to eliminating raw sewage in Cork Lower Harbour with the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing contract award
The Cobh Wastewater will ultimately be pumped via this crossing to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant for safe discharge to Cork Lower Harbour
Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is working to end the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage directly into Cork Lower Harbour with an investment of €144 million in the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. Moving closer to their goal of treating the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage flowing into the harbour by the end of 2021, Irish Water has today awarded the contract for the design and construction of the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing pipelines to O’Connor Utilities Limited.
20,000 homes and businesses to be connected to the new scheme
With 20,000 homes and businesses set to be connected to the new scheme on completion, this project is important in terms of protecting the environment, facilitating economic development and providing for a growing population.
Significant progress has already been made on the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. Since the project started, we have halved the amount of raw sewage discharging untreated into the harbour, from the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins every day to 20,000 through the construction of the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant and connection of Crosshaven, Carrigaline and Shanbally in December 2016. The network has been repaired and extended on the South side of the estuary. Ringaskiddy was connected to the treatment plant in October 2018 and we expect to be treating the wastewater from Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown this Summer. At that stage the equivalent of 30,000 wheelie bins of sewage will be treated daily and discharge safely to the harbour.
The Estuary Crossing pipeline
To allow the wastewater from Cobh’s homes and businesses to be treated at Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant, two pipes will be installed under the River Lee estuary between Cobh and Monkstown as part of the Estuary Crossing contract. The pipes will be installed using a Horizontal Directional Drilling construction technique, which will deliver these works safely and with the minimum disruption to residents, businesses and road users and with the least environmental impact. The Estuary Crossing contract will take approximately 1 year to complete, and once the Cobh Networks Contract is complete in 2021, all Cobh town’s wastewater will be connected to the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Shanbally by the Estuary Crossing pipeline for treatment before its safe discharge to the harbour. View the Estuary Crossing pipeline project sheet. View the Cobh Networks project sheet.
Committed to working with the local community to minimise the impact
“The signing of the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing contract brings us another step closer to our goal of treating the remaining 20,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage flowing into the harbour in 2021” said Déaglán Healy, Project Manager Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. “We are committed to working with the local community to minimise the impact where possible and to keep them informed about the works. I would like to thank all the communities we have worked in for their patience and cooperation and I would encourage communities in Cobh and Monkstown to contact the project team and register for regular project updates at firstname.lastname@example.org to help us keep you informed as we work together to clean up our harbour.”
Tim O’Connor, managing director of O’Connor Utilities Limited says “We are delighted to bring our extensive drilling experience back to Ireland, being a proud Cork man, and work with Irish Water and the communities of Cobh and Monkstown to deliver this important infrastructure”.
Irish Water is committed to delivering these works safely with the minimum disruption to residents and business as we work together to deliver the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project and end the discharge of raw sewage into Cork Lower Harbour.
For more on this project, visit the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project page.