Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, has announced the completion of a new wastewater treatment scheme for Gorey. The €7.2 million investment, which commenced in September 2014, has delivered an enhanced treatment plant with the new capacity to treat all waste from both Courtown and Gorey. It will protect and improve water quality at receiving waters as well as facilitating future growth and economic development, and enabling the beach at Courtown to retain its blue flag status.
The previous Gorey treatment plant was overloaded and unable to meet the required treatment levels and capacity. The work involved extending the existing Courtown Wastewater Treatment Plant to provide increased capacity from the current PE (population equivalent) of 12,000 to 35,000. Waste water from Gorey is now pumped to the treatment plant at Courtown, and the old Gorey treatment plant has now been decommissioned. Existing structures at Gorey are being converted to provide screening and storm water storage.
According to Irish Water’s Wastewater Programmes Regional Lead, Mark Murray: “The completion of this critical infrastructure project marks a significant upgrade to wastewater treatment facilities in Gorey and the surrounding areas. It will bring economic and tourism benefits, meeting the immediate needs of the community as well as providing for future growth and development. Tourism is of great importance to the area and this investment will sustain and enhance the environment by improving water quality in the Banogue River and ensure that bathing water quality is fully compliant with the national and European statutory requirements.”
The project has been delivered in partnership with Wexford Co. Co and the works have been procured under a Design Build Operate (DBO) contract with the construction carried out by a joint venture between AECOM and SIAC and engineering services provided by Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers. In addition to the construction and extension works, the DBO Scheme will allow for the operation and maintenance (for 20 years) of the completed wastewater treatment plant at Courtown and pumping stations at Gorey, Courtown Harbour, Riverchapel, Ballinatray and Poulshone. The contract also includes the operation and maintenance of the interconnecting rising mains from these pumping stations to the Courtown plant, the existing outfall from the plant to the Irish Sea and the sludge facility at Courtown.
This project forms part of Irish Water’s investment plan where over €530 million will be invested in upgrading services in 2016 to improve the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The Irish Water Business Plan has earmarked almost €2 billion in improving wastewater quality and capacity up to 2021. Already in €10 million has been invested by Irish Water in Wexford on the Gorey and Taghmon waste water treatment schemes and a further estimated €32 million will be spent on wastewater projects and €21.5 million on water projects over the coming years.