WIT’s Built Environment students learn about Waste Water Treatment at first hand

As part of their ongoing learning, students on the Quantity Surveying and Civil Engineering programmes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) made a site visit to the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) project being carried out by Sorensen Civil Engineering Ltd in Dunmore East.

Classroom studies combined with appropriate dedicated site visits are a regular occurrence for students of varying disciplines in the Department of the Built Environment. Robert Smyth, course leader for BSc (Hons) Quantity in Surveying said, “These visits and activities are hugely important for our students as they can truly translate what they learn in the lecture halls to real life situations and engineering solutions.”

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Bright sunshine, cool sea air and a complex civil engineering construction greeted students when they visited the WWTP project along with their tutors John Carney, Robert Smyth and Tomas O’Donoghue. Project Manager Luke Treacy gave the students great guidance and instruction on the works carried out to date.

The Waste Water Treatment Plant is in simple terms a very large compartmented box structure (approx. 70 x 20 x 5m high) with reinforced concrete floor and walls sunken below ground level. Once the plant is fitted and commissioned, the waste water from the Dunmore East area will be treated prior to being discharged out to sea via a 350m long pipeline. The 355mm diameter pipe is laid partly underground and then inserted into a bored hole some 300m long under the red rock cliff face. The borehole allows the exit point of the outfall pipe to discharge 100m from the seashore. This operation is carried out using what is known as directional drilling and this operation had just commenced on site. The drilling operation is expected to take approx. six weeks to complete. The previous week the concrete floor of the tank had been placed (some 500m3 in a one day pour!!) and the reinforced concrete walls are in progress.

In conjunction with Robert Smyth, the visit was facilitated by Joshua Sorensen of Sorensen Civil Engineering, who is a graduate of the Construction Economics programme at WIT.

The WIT Department of the Built Environment students hope to return to the site in a few months time to review progress and get further experience on the practical aspects of the civil engineering construction detailing.

For more information on courses in the department of the Built Environment, visit www.wit.ie/be