Wastewater plants for Irish villages

Innovative water treatment plants will be piloted in seven villages in County Tipperary after the scheme was awarded €11.8 million by the Irish Government.

On Friday, June 10 Dick Roche, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, announced the initiative to test a range of wastewater collection and treatment systems.

They are expected to identify cost-effective wastewater solutions for rural communities throughout the country.

Speaking at the official opening of the new civic offices for North Tipperary County Council, the Minister said that the National Rural Water Monitoring Committee, along with his own department, had for some time been researching emerging wastewater technologies and systems abroad.

He said he hoped that the pilot scheme, which will introduce vacuum sewers for the first time in Ireland as an alternative to traditional gravity and pumped systems, would produce cost-effective solutions that can be used in many other small towns and villages.

The Minister said he was keenly aware of the difficulties of disposing of septic tank effluent, particularly in sensitive areas or areas with poor ground conditions.

The pilot project will pioneer the use of Septic Tank Effluent Drainage Systems, more commonly known as STEDS.

STEDS retain existing septic tanks on-site and drain the effluent through a special filter prior to transferring it by small bore pipe to a small package treatment plant.

“Some 26 households in Killtillane, near Templemore, will be the first in the country to use a STEDS system”, the Minister said.

“The pilot scheme will also assess the practicalities and benefits of a de-sludging service being provided by the wastewater treatment plant operator for septic tanks owned by more outlying householders that cannot be directly linked to the new sewerage schemes.”

The contract has been awarded to Mallow-based company, EPS Ltd.

“The tender process came up with the desired result in terms of value-for-money and innovative technology”, said Mr Roche.

“As a result, I am delighted give the green light to this project and I am optimistic that it will serve as a model for many other communities up and down the country.”

By Sam Bond

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