Lee Road Water Treatment plant set for major upgrade

Lee Road Water Treatment plant set for major upgrade
The redevelopment of the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant will take 18 months to complete once construction begins. Picture Dan Linehan

Irish Water is moving to the next phase of the redevelopment of the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant.

The water utility has begun the process of compulsory purchase of land in the area to facilitate the project.

Planning permission was granted in 2017 for the upgrade, replacement and extension of the Lee Road Water Treatment facility which dates back to the 19th century.

The plant provides clean drinking water for 100,000 people in the city, almost 70% of the total supply. The remainder comes from the Inniscarra Water Treatment Works.

The treatment of water began at the Lee Road in 1879. Since then, major upgrades have taken place in the 1920s and 1950s.

Water taken from the River Lee and treated at the plant is pumped to reservoirs in Shanakiel, the Harbour View Road and to the Water Tower in Churchfield and serve all of the city area north of the River Lee, the city centre and the south-central part of Cork. Areas of Mahon and Bishopstown in the south-east and south-west receive their water from the Inniscarra.

The Lee Road plant was badly damaged by the floods that struck the city in November 2009 leaving much of the northside without water for more than a week.

The proposed works provide for a 40,000 cubic metres per day capacity water treatment facility.

This involves the upgrading of existing sedimentation tanks, construction of new raw water tanks and pumps, filters, ultraviolet treatment and sludge treatment facilities.

New flood protections will also be built.

Once construction begins, it is expected the Lee Road upgrade project will take 18 months to complete.

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