Irish Water is investing €2.7 million in flow monitoring and performance sampling equipment in wastewater treatment plants in Donegal and across the north west.
The project is part of a nationwide initiative that Irish Water said will provide enhanced protection for rivers and coastal waters. They said the equipment will also allow Irish Water to identify where investment is needed in the wastewater infrastructure to facilitate future development in towns and villages.
The work in Donegal will involve wastewater treatment plants in Downings, Dunfanaghy/Portnablagh, Dunkineely, Kerrykeel, Kilmacrennan, Milford, Ballyliffin, Bridgend, Burnfoot, Carrigart, Castlefin, Clonmany, Creeslough, Falcarragh, Kilcar, Killea, Manorcunningham, Rathmullan, Fahan, Lifford, Newtowncunningham, Raphoe and Mountcharles.
In a statement, Irish Water said the equipment will make wastewater flow and load data available on a consistent basis for the first time, saying this will help improve the performance of treatment plants while helping to protect waterways into which treated wastewater is discharged.
Irish Water said that when the work is completed, plant operators and engineers will have the data and tools to enable them to better manage the treatment processes, measure performance and react more quickly to sudden changes, such as a storm event.
There are three separate contracts under way in the region. The first has been completed and represents a €1.7 million investment in Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan and Sligo. A second contract, for €500,000, is under way in parts of Cavan, Galway, Monaghan and Roscommon; and a third contract, also for €500,000 is under way in Donegal and Mayo.
John McElwaine, Irish Water’s Capital Programmes Regional Lead, said Irish Water collects wastewater from more than 1,000 separate communities connected to the wastewater network and treats about 1.6 billion litres of wastewater daily before it is discharged safely back into rivers, harbours and coastal areas.
“This project will allow us to monitor and improve the quality of this discharge, thereby protecting our coasts and waterways,” he said.
About €10 million is being invested across 400 wastewater treatment plants of varying sizes nationwide.