A new wastewater treatment plant will end the discharge of the equivalent of almost 20,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage into Cork Harbour within weeks.
The huge facility at Shanbally, which is being built as part of the €135m Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project, will begin treating waste from homes and businesses in the Carrigaline and Crosshaven areas when its first phase comes on-line around the middle of next month.
The facility, which has capacity to treat 12m litres of wastewater daily once fully operational, will result in immediate benefits to the water quality in the harbour, which has been branded one of the country’s worst offending pollution blackspots.
Currently, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage is being discharged to the lower harbour every day. It is one of 43 pollution blackspots highlighted for urgent attention in a major EPA water quality report published yesterday.
Irish Water confirmed it is investing tens of millions in the development of the new Shanbally plant, along with 14 new pumping stations, 30km of new sewers, repair work on existing sewers, and a new drilled crossing under the estuary, 30m below the seabed.
It has lodged a foreshore licence with the Department of Local Government for a site in Cobh to enable construction works for part of the pipeline network, as well as for the decommissioning of other outfalls, and is proceeding with a Compulsory Purchase Order to facilitate the acquisition of wayleaves and land to enable an extension of the pipe network and the development of pumping stations in Cobh.
Once the entire drainage scheme is complete in 2019, it will end the discharge of untreated sewage into the harbour, discharging the treated wastewater through an outfall at Dog Nose Point.
Irish Water is also investing €12.5m in a treatment plant in Youghal to stop untreated effluent being discharged into the sea at the Blackwater Estuary.
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