IRISH WATER has completed the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing which is to work towards ending the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage directly into Cork Lower Harbour.
The crossing is part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project in partnership with Cork County Council.
The landmark engineering feat involved two of the longest horizontal directional drills ever carried out in Ireland under the Lee Estuary and allowed for the installation of pipelines 60m under the Lee to create the vital connection between Cobh and Monkstown.
The connection will allow the raw sewage from Cobh town to be transferred for treatment, once work on the Cobh Town Networks contract is complete in 2021.
When construction on the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project commenced in 2015, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage was discharged into the Harbour every day.
When all the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage works are complete in 2021, the project will, in compliance with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, treat all wastewater from the agglomerations of Ringaskiddy-Crosshaven-Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy village, Passage West-Monkstown and Cobh town.
This means 20,000 homes and businesses will be connected to the new scheme and that raw sewage from these areas will no longer be discharged into the harbour, positively impacting the local economy and greatly improving the amenity value of the Cork Lower Harbour for the surrounding communities.
The completion of this stage also means that Monkstown Park can be handed back to the local community complete with local upgrades and improvements, including a multi-use games area and additional drainage to the football pitch and a new wildflower area.
Speaking on the completion of the work, Déaglán Healy, Project Manager for Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project said:
“This is another important milestone in our project working towards ending the discharge of raw sewage into Cork Harbour with all the environmental, social and economic benefits that will bring.
“We would like to particularly thank the local community for their continuing support. Their patience and cooperation with our contractor, O’Connor Utilities, in partnership with Long O’Donnell, Nicholas O’Dwyer and our own Irish Water project team, has greatly contributed to the safe and successful completion of these works.”