€12m water treatment plant to aid town’s development

Irish Water has sanctioned a new €12m waste water treatment plant which will enhance an east Cork town’s potential for further industrial and residential development.

Cork County Council’s planning policy unit envisages up to 4,000 homes could be built in Carrigtwohill by 2020 and the IDA has also targeted the town as a hub for industrial development.

Some companies had to put expansion plans on hold because of current sewage treatment plant limitations.

Following considerable lobbying from the council, Irish Water sanctioned the project which will be carried out by Cork-based companies EPS and Sorensen Civil Engineering. It will significantly increase sewage capacity in the area, which, otherwise, would have restricted growth.

EPS deputy managing director Patrick Buckley, said the existing plant had capacity for 7,500 households but the new one will expand it to 30,000.

“The new treatment plant will be fully operational by the summer of 2016 and it will be designed in such a way that it can be expanded to deal with 60,000 people if necessary,” Mr Buckley said.

County engineer David Keane said at times the existing plant had to deal with an equivalent population of 12,000.

A large number of houses have been built there in recent years, although construction slowed to a trickle during the recession. However, with an upturn in the economy it’s expected that developers will increase their interest in the approximately 100 acres zoned for residential development in the town — the majority of which is north of the railway line.

“The big issue in Carrigtwohill was that we didn’t have enough [sewage treatment plant] capacity,” Cllr Anthony Barry (FG) said.

He pointed out that the IDA had land still available for new industries in the area, especially a major site on the side of the main Cork-Midleton road which was once earmarked for the biotech firm, Amgen.

“There is also a huge amount of land zoned for residential development and the council’s planning policy unit envisages that by 2020, up to 4,000 additional housing units could be built in the town. This couldn’t be done without the new treatment plant,” Mr Barry said.

He said he was also hopeful that the IDA could one day find a new tenant for the Amgen facility which is large enough to hold more that 1,000 employees.

“It only made commonsense for Irish Water to sanction the facility,” Mr Barry said.

The EPS Group has built over 200 sewage and water treatment facilities around the country while Sorensen Civil Engineering is one of the most successful companies of its type in Ireland.

Village water supply upgrade

There should be light at the end of the tunnel shortly for residents of a small Co Cork village who suffered for years from poor water quality.

Irish Water confirmed it is to put a project out to tender next month for the upgrading of the supply to Belgooly, near Kinsale.

The village has suffered from excessively hard water which causes considerable damage to electrical appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.

The existing water supply, which comes from a nearby well, contains high levels of iron and manganese.

Deputy Jim Daly has received written confirmation from the utility company it intends to tender out the laying of a new water main from Riverstick to Belgooly and upgrade the existing reservoir pumps to ensure adequate flows and pressures are available in the village.

Cork County Council, acting as agents for Irish Water, has already put a temporary solution by modifying the existing filtration system.

Mr Daly said it had been frustrating for residents to get the scheme progressed because of the limbo which occurred during the transition of water services from the local authority to Irish Water, but he was pleased the utility was now treating it as a priority project.

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