Monday 10 December 2018

Irish Water initiates CPO process for Millstreet plant

Bill Browne

Having already secured permission for a major upgrade of the waste-water treatment plant in Millstreet, Irish Water has confirmed it is to progress a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the land needed to complete the project.

Late last year Cork County Council planners gave the green light to a multi-million euro plan that will involve the decommissioning of the existing plant on Station Road, which will be replaced with a new facility on vacant adjacent lands. 

The project will include a new treatment plant, incorporating a rainwater storage tank, preliminary treatment equipment and secondary treatment tanks. 

It will also include the replacement of the existing Mount Leader pumping station and 1.3km of new sewer pipes along Station Road to bring treated water to the River Finnow.

It is envisaged that, when completed, the new plant will double its treatment  capacity to cater for a future local population equivalent of 3,220 people. 

An Irish Water spokesperson admitted the existing plant was "operating over its design capacity", saying the upgraded facility would be able to treat the equivalent of more than 2,500 wheelie bins of raw sewage. 

"The new plant will provide increased treatment capacity to facilitate future development within the town and improve water quality in the Tanyard Stream and the River Finnow," they said.

The spokesperson added that in order to progress the new plant, Irish Water had submitted an application for a CPO, which they said was "essential" to the delivery of the project. 

"We have been liaising with all land owners to keep updated on the project and consultations have been ongoing with those whose lands have been identified on the proposed scheme," said the spokesperson. 

"Irish Water was unable to acquire all of the required way-leaves and lands on a voluntary basis and has now submitted an application for a Compulsory Purchase Order." 

Mark Murray, Irish Water's infrastructure programme lead for the southern area said investing in infrastructure was "a key priority" and the investment in Millstreet would ensure compliance with EU urban wastewater directives. 

"Between 2014 and 2015, Irish Water invested €166m in Ireland's wastewater infrastructure, an increase of 22% from 2011 to 2013," said Mr Murray.

"From 2016 to 2021, the remaining period of the Irish Water Business Plan, the utility is ramping up investment to spend an average of €326million per year on wastewater infrastructure. The investment in the Millstreet WwTP is part of this investment programme," he added.