The Victorian-era water treatment plant which supplies water to 70% of Cork city’s population is to undergo a €40m upgrade.
It is the first major investment in the 1879-built Lee Road water treatment plant since the 1950s.
The work will involve the replacement of its treatment facilities, which have been listed for some time on the EPA’s Remedial Action List as requiring urgent action on a range of issues.
The plant treats just over 41m litres of water a day to serve almost 90,000 people.
Most of the work will be done on a site immediately west of the existing plant located on the northern banks of the river Lee.
Irish Water described it as a landmark project which will ensure the treatment plant can provide a safe and secure water supply to meet the needs of a growing population and support the ongoing economic development of the city.
Minister for Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, who turned the sod on the project today, said investment on this scale is vital for the future of the expanding city.
“As we have seen with recent events, clean water is vital for homes and families across the country and the investment by Government in this infrastructure will ensure a safe, secure, and sustainable water supply in Cork city for many years to come,” he said.
“This latest investment is another important milestone in securing Cork’s water supply into the future.”
The city’s water supply scheme was established in 1768 at the historic Old Cork Waterworks, on the Lee Road. The treatment of drinking water moved across the road to the current treatment plant in 1879.
There have been several upgrades to the facility over the years, including significant repairs after it was overwhelmed by floodwaters in 2009, knocking out water supply to half the city for several days. But there have been no major upgrades since the 1950s.
— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) November 8, 2019
Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Fergal Dennehy, said the investment is essential in safeguarding public health, supporting local businesses and attracting investment into the city.
Eamon Gallen, Irish Water’s General Manager, said Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the country’s water supply but he said the scale of the challenge should not be underestimated.
“We are working hard in every county, building new treatment plants, fixing pipes, tackling leakage and upgrading existing infrastructure so that we can provide our customers with the best possible service,” he said.
Irish Water recently signed a two-year contract with J Murphy & Sons Ltd to deliver the treatment plant upgrade project, which is expected to take about two years to complete.
It is hoped that the plant will be removed from the EPA’s watch-list by the end of 2021.
Source: Full Feed