River Basin Management Plan – Enhanced Ambition Programme

About this programme

Irish Water’s River Basin Management Plan Enhanced Ambition Programme is funded by the European Union under Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. This is a €20 million investment which will support the objectives of Ireland’s River Basin Management Plans and improve water quality in rivers. The programme is aimed at ensuring that Irish Water assets are not impacting on the ability of receiving waters to achieve their water quality objectives.

The programme involves:

  1. The upgrade of 12 Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs)
  2. Completing feasibility studies for 25 WWTPs
  3. Undertaking effluent and water quality assessments to quantify improvements needed at these WWTPs

The WWTPs selected for inclusion in the programme have all been identified in Ireland’s draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027 as causing water quality impacts in the rivers they discharge to.

National Recovery and Resilience Plan

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) has been developed by the Government so that Ireland can access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. Ireland is expected to receive more than €900 million in grants over the lifetime of the Facility.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the largest component of NextGenerationEU, the European Union’s response to the global pandemic. The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-Covid Europe that is greener, more digital, more resilient and fit to face the future.

WWTP Upgrades

The following WWTPs have been selected for upgrade under this programme. They have all been identified as significant pressures (i.e. causing or likely to cause water quality impacts) in the draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027.

  
Tinryland and Kildavin in Co. Carlow Kilmihil in Co. Clare
Ballintra and Pettigo in Co. Donegal Ballymoe in Co. Galway
Kilmaganny in Co. Kilkenny Galbally in Co. Limerick
Cloneygowan in Co. Offaly Grangemockler in Co. Tipperary
Clonea Power in Co. Waterford Millview (Milltownpass) in Co. Westmeath

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies will be undertaken for the following WWTPs in order to develop an understanding of the impacts of the WWTPs on receiving waters and to identify any improvements needed.

  
Nurney in Co. Carlow Blacklion and Shercock in Co. Cavan
Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare Ballingeary in Co. Cork
Killygordon in. Co. Donegal Colecot Cottages in Co. Dublin
Moycullen In Co. Galway Abbeydorney in Co. Kerry
Ballitore and Coill Dubh in Co. Kildare Castlecomer in Co. Kilkenny
Rathdowney in Co. Laois Mohill in Co. Leitrim
Granard in Co. Longford Dunleer in Co. Louth
Balla, Ballindine and Kilkelly in Co. Mayo Kilcormac in Co. Offaly
Borrisokane and Mullinahone in Co. Tipperary Ballycanew in Co. Wexford
Kilcoole and Kilpeddar in Co. Wicklow  

Monitoring

Sampling and analysis is required to quantify the impact of the WWTPs on the receiving water environment so that improvements needed to address the impact can be determined. This monitoring includes:

  • Physico-chemical monitoring – specifically the levels of ammonia, ortho-phosphate and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) in the rivers upstream and downstream of the WWTP discharges. Comparing the levels upstream and downstream shows whether or not the WWTPs are impacting on river water quality.
  • Biological monitoring – specifically macroinvertebrate monitoring in the rivers upstream and downstream of the WWTP discharges. Comparing the results upstream and downstream indicates whether or not the WWTP is have an impact on the biological status of the river.

We will undertake quarterly physico-chemical monitoring and one-off macroinvertebrate monitoring at the following locations relating to the WWTPs included in the programme:

Wastewater Treatment PlantsAmbient monitoring locations
Tinryland, Co. Carlow Tributary of Burren River
Kildavin, Co. Carlow Kildavin Stream (tributary of River Slaney)
Nurney, Co. Carlow Ballyryan Stream
Blacklion, Co. Cavan Lower Lough Macnean
Shercock, Co. Cavan River Shinan (flows into Lough Sillan)
Kilmihil, Co. Clare Kilmihil Stream (tributary of Doonbeg River)
Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare Aille River
Ballingeary, Co. Cork Tributary of River Lee
Ballintra, Co. Donegal Ballintra River
Pettigo, Co. Donegal Termon River
Killygordon, Co. Donegal River Finn
Colecot Cottages, Co. Dublin Bettyville Stream (tributary of Ballough Stream)
Ballymoe, Co. Galway Island River
Moycullen, Co. Galway Ballyquirke Lough Stream
Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry Boherroe Stream
Ballitore, Co. Kildare Greese River
Coill Dubh, Co. Kildare Tributary of Slate River
Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny Dinin River
Kilmaganny, Co. Kilkenny Glory River
Rathdowney, Co. Laois Erkina Stream
Mohill, Co. Leitrim River Rinn
Galbally, Co. Limerick Aherlow River
Granard, Co. Longford River Rhine
Dunleer, Co. Louth White River
Balla, Co. Mayo Loughnaminoo Stream
Ballindine, Co. Mayo Ballindine Stream (tributary of Robe River)
Kilkelly, Co. Mayo Trimoge River
Cloneygowan, Co. Offaly Tributary of Cushina River
Kilcormac, Co. Offaly Silver (Kilcormac) River
Grangemockler, Co. Tipperary Lingaun River
Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary Ballyfinboy Stream
Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary Mullinahone Stream
Clonea Power, Co. Waterford Clodiagh River
Millview (Milltownpass), Co. Westmeath Milltown River
Ballycanew, Co. Wexford Owenavorragh River
Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow Kilcoole Stream
Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow Kilcoole Stream