Offaly town identified as potential 'sludge hub' for Irish Water
Irish Water is launching a public consultation on the Site Selection Methodology Report for Regional Sludge Hub Centres with Tullamore one of the possible regional locations.
The consultation is seeking the public and interested stakeholder views on the site selection methodology. The consultation opens on September 24, 2019 and closes on October 22, 2019.
The Site Selection Methodology Report follows on from the National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan 2016, which sets out a nationwide strategy for managing wastewater sludge now and over the next 25 years. One of the recommendations of the report was to develop a number of existing sludge treatment facilities into regional Sludge Hubs Centres.
Paul Fallon says: “Through the consultation, we are inviting feedback from members of the public and interested stakeholders on the site selection methodology. In particular, we are eager to understand if there is any additional information on the potential sites identified that we should be aware of; whether there are any additional factors we should be considered in choosing the preferred sites and how the public would like to be communicated with as the project progresses.”
The Site Selection Methodology Report identifies wastewater treatment plants in; Longford, Dundalk and Drogheda in Louth, Navan in Meath, Portlaoise in Laois, Mullingar in Westmeath and Tullamore in Offaly as potential Sludge Hub Centres in the Eastern and Midlands region. The assessment of these wastewater treatment plants as Sludge Hub Centres will be based on environmental, planning, economic, and technical factors.
Since 2014, Irish Water has been building and upgrading wastewater treatment plants nationwide and developing ways of reducing sludge volumes to achieve the best balance between the cost of transport and the cost of treatment. The volume of sludge is increasing year on year and is predicted to continue to increase. The National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan estimated that by 2040 around 50,000 truck-loads of sludge will be generated each year, which represents an 80% increase.
Paul Fallon says: “Irish Water is planning for now and the future so that sludge can be treated and disposed of safely and in a way that does not pose a risk to public health, the environment or agricultural lands by increasing the capacity of sludge management facilities. The development of regional Sludge Hubs Centres is key to ensure that, as a country, we can manage the increasing volumes of sludge we produce.”
Submissions can be made to Irish Water in the following ways:
By email: sludgehubseastmidlands@water. ie
By post: Sludge Hubs Centres East Midlands Region, c/o J.B. Barry & Partners Ltd, Classon House, Dundrum Business Park, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14, D14 T9T0
To view the Site Selection Methodology Report or for further information, visit www.water.ie/sludgehubs.
The Report and project newsletter is also available at planning counters in the relevant local authority offices and public libraries across the country.