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Public consultation to commence on long-term Wastewater Strategy for the Cork Metropolitan area

15 May 2024

Information below is relevant until further updates are provided here or on our Supply and Service Updates section.

The 50-year Cork Wastewater Strategy, will assess all wastewater treatment and network infrastructure in the Cork Metropolitan Area

Uisce Éireann has today commenced an 8 week public consultation on a long-term plan to ensure the adequate provision of wastewater services for the Cork Metropolitan area. The first of its kind, the 50-year Cork Wastewater Strategy, will assess all wastewater treatment and network infrastructure in the Cork Metropolitan Area (CMA) to determine what upgrades will be required to meet the future needs of the population, accounting for economic growth, environmental changes and climate change. 

Uisce Éireann will be consulting with a wide range of environmental and public bodies to progress this comprehensive assessment of all existing infrastructure and set out a vision for future development. Members of the public are also invited to participate in the consultation and make a submission to the project team. The project aims to ensure adequate provision of wastewater services are planned and in place for homes, businesses, and industry within the project area. 

Submissions are invited from all interested parties for eight weeks from 15 May to 9 July 2024. Further information and details of how to make a submission is available from the Uisce Éireann dedicated website section Cork Wastewater Strategy

Paul Fallon, Portfolio Manager for Uisce Éireann said, “This is an important project for the people of Cork, the first of its kind undertaken. Uisce Éireann is proactively looking ahead to identify the needs of the area, and the community, as far forward as 2080. I’m really looking forward to the findings of this project and we would encourage local people to engage with us and to use the public consultation phase to get involved and have their say.”

This a big milestone in Cork’s future; the final strategy will build on the significant investment already made by Uisce Éireann in improving the wastewater infrastructure in Cork. Investment to date has improved wastewater treatment in Cork communities, including Innishannon, Mallow, Dripsey, Ballyvourney, Coachford, Bandon, and Mitchelstown, as well as providing new wastewater treatment in Castletownsend, Castletownbere and Inchigeelagh The Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Scheme, a €144m investment project, also eliminated the discharge of raw sewage from Ringaskiddy-Crosshaven-Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy village, Passage-Monkstown and Cobh town. Now complete, this project is benefitting 20,000 homes and businesses connected to the overall scheme.

Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO said; “This comes at a critical juncture for Cork, the economic success of the Cork Metropolitan Area has led to very significant growth in Cork City and surrounding areas.  The National Planning Framework 2040 predicts that Cork will become the fastest-growing city region in Ireland with a projected 50% to 60% increase of its population in the period up to 2040.  As a result of this growth, the wastewater drainage infrastructure is challenged to keep pace with the increased demand for new serviced land for housing, commercial developments, and industry.”

The Cork Wastewater Strategy aims to deliver a sustainable drainage strategy that will protect public health, safeguard our environment and facilitate growth to 2080.    Following the conclusion of this consultation, Uisce Éireann will review and consider feedback received from stakeholders in development of the draft Cork Wastewater Strategy and associated environmental reports. The draft strategy will be published for consultation in 2025.