Speaking at a regional IBEC seminar taking place in Waterford, Ervia, Irish Water’s parent company outlined the key objectives of the recently published business plan for the utility that will bring Ireland’s national water infrastructure to an acceptable level by making significant investment and achieving greater efficiencies.
The Irish Water Business Plan will deliver a quality service to customers while addressing the constrained funding model and fragmented service delivery that has had such a damaging effect on Ireland’s water infrastructure over many decades.
The €40 million being invested in Waterford is part of a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water quality and capacity, wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021. The projects which are currently being carried out or have reached completion in Waterford, as part of this investment, will ensure vastly improved water quality and availability in the Waterford City area and provide state of the art wastewater treatment facilities in a number of towns and villages in the county. The Irish Water Business Plan also sets out €1.1bn in operational efficiencies that will be achieved through reducing the cost of repairs and maintenance, payroll, energy, contracting and existing industry overheads.
Commenting on the investment, Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer at Irish Water said, ‘Our water and wastewater services are not fit for purpose. As is common across much of the country, the water infrastructure in Waterford is old and needs to be upgraded and maintained and Irish Water is working to address this. The majority of the 5 projects are nearing completion with a number being completed ahead of schedule. This significant investment in water and wastewater infrastructure in Waterford will support future population growth and ongoing economic development in the county.’
In addition to the €40 million investment approved to date, Irish Water is working on the development of a further 3 projects in Co. Waterford which will represent an estimated investment of over €11.7 million in the next 5 years.
The current projects nearing completion as part of the €40 million investment are:
Waterford City Water Mains Rehabilitation Project
This project, which was completed ahead of schedule, represents an investment of over €7 million and includes the replacement/upgrade of over 30km of existing water mains and the replacement of over 2,000 existing service connections to private properties including a significant number of lead connections.
Waterford Grouped Towns and Villages Sewerage Scheme – Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades
This project provides foul and surface water collection systems as well as wastewater treatment facilities at 7 towns and villages in Co. Waterford. These are Ardmore, Ballyduff/Kilmeaden, Cappoquin, Dunmore East, Kilmacthomas, Stradbally and Tallow. To date collection systems have been completed for all seven towns and villages. Construction of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is also well advanced. Ardmore WWTP began treating sewage this month, three months ahead of schedule.
Dunmore East will be treating sewage by the end of this month and the other five plants will be operational by May 2016, which is also ahead of schedule. The overall cost of the project is €24 million and will met the future water infrastructure needs of all of the towns and villages while ensuring compliance with Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive standards and EU requirements.
Cheekpoint Wastewater Treatment Plant and Network
This scheme has now reached substantial completion and provides the villages of Cheekpoint with a modern sewage collection and treatment system capable of addressing the existing and future development needs of the area. All wastewater now receives secondary treatment before discharging to the River Suir, thus ensuring significant beneficial effects on the river water quality.
The wastewater infrastructure provided will meet the requirements of the Cheekpoint area for at least the next 20 years and will ensure compliance with Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive standards and EU requirements. The scheme represents an investment of approximately €3.6 million by Irish Water.
Lismore Wastewater Treatment Plant
Works are nearing completion on a significant upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant in Lismore, with completion anticipated by the end of December. This project will ensure the existing and future needs of the Lismore area are met and also ensure compliance with relevant National and European quality standards. The project represents an investment of €1.7 million and the works are scheduled for completion by early December.
Dunmore East Collection System
This scheme, which is now complete, represents an investment of €3.7 million by Irish Water, with the works consisting of improvements and expansion of the existing wastewater collection system in Dunmore East. The completed works will ensure that all wastewater in Dunmore East is conveyed to the new Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will be treating sewage by the end of November, thus ensuring compliance with all relevant standards and ensuring that the existing and future requirements of Dunmore East are met.