A PLANNING decision is expected this week for the major redevelopment of the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant that supplies 70% of Cork’s water.
The development will involve the upgrade and extension of the existing facility to improve the supply to more than 100,000 people.
New flood protections will also be built to avoid a reoccurrence of the November 2009 flood when the plant was badly damaged.
The proposed works provide for a 40,000-cubic-metres-per-day water treatment facility.
Water taken from the River Lee and treated at the plant is pumped to reservoirs in Shanakiel, Harbour View Road in Hollyhill, and to the Water Tower in Churchfield and serves 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 get their water from the Inniscarra Water Treatment Plant.
If granted planning permission, the development will involve the upgrading of existing sedimentation tanks, construction of new raw water tanks and pumps, filters, ultraviolet treatment, and sludge treatment facilities. The contract will also include for new chemical dosing and monitoring and control systems.
Once construction, it is expected the project will take 18 months to complete.
Irish Water said the new plant will improve the efficiencies of the facility, resulting in a more secure water supply to Cork, while also protecting it from future flood events.
It is expected the upgrade will also make the plant more energy efficient as the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant is one of the biggest energy consumers in Cork and the upgrade works will reduce the energy consumption and running costs of the water pumps by more than 10%.
The treatment of water first began at the Lee Road around 1879. Since then, there have been several upgrades to the treatment facility, with major upgrades in the 1920s and again in the 1950s.