Lixnaw wetlands plans take shape

The contractor for the new Lixnaw wetlands treatment system is to be announced within weeks in a project that will quadruple the wastewater capacity of the existing network.

Irish Water revealed further details of the project this week, costing the new 'Integrated Constructed Wetlands' (ICW) at €2 million. The agency expects construction could begin on the 5.5ha site as soon as this summer, with a completion date next year.

Irish Water said that, as a result of the project, the people of Listowel will enjoy 'significant health, environmental and economic benefits', with a walkway at the core of the wetlands.

Fine Gael County Councillor Aoife Thornton said she is now pushing to ensure the project is completed to the highest specifications, urging Irish Water to include in it a special river window among other considerations.

"I visited a similar project in Waterford recently which had a river window, allowing people to get a rare and fascinating glimpse of underwater life. I think this would be a fantastic addition to the new project and make an even greater amenity of it, for general visitors as well as pupils learning about nature," Cllr Thornton said.

Irish Water said that the project is of a type that will enhance biodiversity in a sustainable system relying on native plant species. General works for the site will include: the construction of wetlands ponds to filter the wastewater; a new pumping station; a new sewer line and manholes along the public road, upgrading existing sewer from 150mm to 300mm-diameter pipe; as well as walkways, signs and much more. The existing treatment plant will be decommissioned, meanwhile.