Eight Galway treatment plants to be upgraded

Eight wastewater treatment plants in County Galway will benefit from an investment in flow monitoring and performance sampling equipment.

The investment forms part of Irish Water’s nationwide project to provide better protection for rivers and coastal waters.

The utility has announced a €2.7 million investment in its infrastructure across the west and north west.

The Galway treatment plants in line for investment are in Ballinasloe, Clonbur, Letterfrack, Moycullen, Moylough, Portumna, Gort and Loughrea.

“This investment makes critical wastewater flow and load data available on a consistent basis for the first time ever, helping to improve the performance of the treatment plants while also helping protect the waterways into which treated wastewater is discharged.

“When it is completed, plant operators and engineers will have the data and tools to enable them to better manage the treatment processes, measure performance and react quicker to any sudden changes such as a storm event,” a spokesperson said.

There are three separate contracts underway in the region. The first has been completed and represented an investment of €1.7 million in Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo.

A second contract worth €500,000 is currently underway in parts of in Cavan, Galway, Monaghan and Roscommon and a third contract also costing €500,000 is taking place in Donegal and Mayo.

The programme involves the installation of flow measurement devices, storm event recorders and sampling equipment at treatment plants in strategic locations around the region. This project will also ensure compliance with Environmental Protection Agency wastewater discharge authorisations with respect to monitoring and sampling requirements.

It is being rolled out under a national flow monitoring and sampling programme where approximately €10 million is being invested across 400 wastewater treatment plants to comply with EPA licence requirements. Irish Water says it will help build flow and load profiles which in turn will help form strategies for upgrading, maintaining, improving plant efficiencies and ensuring early identification of where investment is required to meet future demands on wastewater infrastructure.

John McElwaine, Irish Water’s Capital Programmes Regional Lead, said: “Protecting Ireland’s waterways and coastal areas is a key priority for Irish Water. Currently we collect wastewater from over 1,000 separate communities connected to the wastewater network and treat around 1.6 billion litres of wastewater daily before safely discharging it back into our rivers, harbours and coastal areas.

“This project will allow us to monitor and improve the quality of this discharge, thereby protecting our coasts and waterways. It will also allow us to determine the capacity requirements of our treatment plants to facilitate the growth of new communities and businesses. Overall it offers significant benefits for public health, the environment and economic development.”

Meanwhile, Irish Water has confirmed to Galway County Councillor, Gabe Cronnelly (SF) that the upgrade of the Athenry wastewater treatment plant is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.

In an email to Councillor Cronnelly, Irish Water said: “The tender process for the Athenry wastewater treatment plant upgrade contract has been completed and it is expected that contract award will occur in the third quarter of 2017. Based on the contract works duration of 18 months, the completion date for the upgraded Athenry waste water treatment plant is quarter one, 2019.”