Water treatment plants need more work

This article is from page 8 of the 2011-12-27 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 8 JPG

FURTHER upgrades are required at wastewater treatment plants in Ennis in order to ensure balanced development of the town, a meeting has heard.

Clare County Council received a grant of permission for the € 2.8 million upgrade of the Clonroadmore wastewater treatment plant from An Bord Pleanála in November.

The development will see the upgrading of the existing wastewater treatment plant from a design capacity of 17,000 population equivalent to a design capacity of 30,150 (pe). The proposed works include (a) an increased storm water storage capacity, (b) the provision of a new clari- fier, (c) the provision of a picket fence thickener (PFT) for sludge treatment and (d) the provision of a tertiary treatment system.

Speaking at Clare County Council’s annual budget meeting, former Mayor of Ennis, councillor Tommy Brennan (Ind) said the town had been waiting for an upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant at Clareabbey since 1995.

Welcoming the development at Clonroadmore, Cllr Brennan said similar progress was required at the Clareabbey facility. He said, “I’d like to see balanced development of the town so the town can develop properly”.

Senior Engineer Sean Ward said the council has prepared a preliminary report on works for Clareabbey. He explained that improvements to the Ennis wastewater network would be carried out on an incremental basis.

Mr Ward told the meeting that approval had been sought for the Clondroadmore plant because it is “overloaded” while capacity at Clareabbey is on a “knife-edge”. He said the council had secured a license from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Clonroadmore while none is yet in place for Clareabbey.

In a report, Cllr Joe Arkins (FG) stated that two projects costed at € 8.7m will proceed to construction under the council’s 2010-12 Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP). Cllr Arkins, who is Chair- man of the council’s Environmental and Water Services Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), explained that a further five projects will proceed to planning during these years.

Cllr Arkins continued, “Consultant procurement for the Ennis watermain rehabilitation project will be completed in 2011. This project is expected to commence construction in 2012. Close liaison with business and other stakeholders in the town will be required in order that any work carried out does not adversely affect daily running of business.

“The aim of the project is to replace older mains, which either are costing significant amounts to maintain or are causing hydraulic constraint and low pressure and to obtain a saving on lost water within these areas. All service connections on these mains will be replaced.”

Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) said the Council might have to consider introducing water byelaws for commercial and domestic users to prevent leakages from the network.

Cllr Gerry Flynn (Ind) called on the Council to expedite progress of the Shannon sewerage scheme otherwise the town is “going to flowed out of it in sewerage”.

He was also strongly critical of plans to impose water rates on volountary and sports groups. He described the € 450 standing charge as a “hidden stealth charge”.

“We are attacking their very existence,” he added.

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