20 May 2022

Kells wastewater being trucked to Kilkenny City for treatment due to non-compliant plant

The site at Kells Wastewater Treatment Plant is 'challenging' says Irish Water

Downstream of Kells bridge with its five arches. Photo taken from Mullins' Mill by Pat Moore.

A water tanker is being used to transport wastewater from Kells to be treated at Purcellsinch in Kilkenny City because the existing treatment plant at Kells is non-compliant with its Certificate of Authorisation. 

Irish Water, working in partnership with Kilkenny County Council, has bee tankering wastewater from Kells Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) since June 2020 in order to protect the environment and ensure effective treatment of wastewater from local homes and businesses. 

In a statement, Irish Water said the site at the Kells WWTP is 'challenging'.

"It is old, close to a Special Area of Conservation and unusually for a WWTP, all the infrastructure is underground which causes difficulties with access to assess the plant," said Irish Water.

"The plant received its last significant upgrade in 1999/2000, however minor works to improve plant performance would have been undertaken at various stages since then. A proposal to carry out upgrade works is currently being finalised. The upgrade works will bring the WWTP back into compliance and ensure it is operating at its optimal efficiency. This will also ensure the protection of the environment and receiving water. The upgrade works will not add to the plant’s capacity.

"Due to the operation and compliance issues listed above, tankering was undertaken to protect the environment and prevent any potential sewage overflow into the river. The WWTP is an Irish Water asset so no cost is borne by the local authority partner for this practice. There are no operational or energy costs currently while tankering is in place. Once the plant is brought up to standard, tankering will cease."

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