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Irish Water awards Cobh Town Networks contract

  • Irish Water awards Cobh Town Networks contract
    Cork. Credit: Wikipedia

About the entity

Irish Water
As Ireland's national water utility we are responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland.


Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is working to end the decades-long practice of discharging raw sewage directly into Cork Lower Harbour with an investment of €144 million in the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. We have awarded the contract for the design and construction of the Cobh Town networks contract to a Farrans Construction and Sorensen Civil Engineering Limited Joint Venture. When works on this contract are completed in 2021, the raw sewage from Cobh Town will be treated, completing the connection of 20,000 homes and businesses to the Cork Lower Harbour scheme, protecting the environment, facilitating economic development and providing for a growing population.

Currently untreated wastewater is discharged through 19 outfall pipes

Wastewater from Cobh Town’s homes and businesses is collected in the existing sewer network. It then discharges untreated through 19 outfall pipes directly into Cork Harbour. We are ending this practice by delivering the Cobh Networks Contract as part of the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. The Cobh Network Contract will collect that wastewater by building approximately 7km of sewer mains and 5 new pumping stations.  The wastewater will be transferred for treatment via the Cobh to Monkstown Estuary Crossing to Monkstown pumping station, from where it will be pumped to Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment before its safe discharge to the harbour.  The works are expected to take approximately two years to complete.

Déaglán Healy, Project manager Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project​ said: “When we started construction of this project in 2015, the equivalent of 40,000 wheelie bins of raw sewage was discharging into the Harbour every day. We halved that through the construction of the Shanbally Wastewater Treatment Plant and connection of Crosshaven, Carrigaline and Shanbally. We have completed all the pipelines on the south side of the harbour. We connected Ringaskiddy Village to the treatment plant in October 2018 and we will start treating the wastewater from Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown later this month. At this stage the equivalent of 30,000 wheelie bins of sewage will be treated daily and discharge safely to the harbour. We are now moving to the North side of the harbour with the award of the Cobh Networks Contract, another significant milestone towards ending the discharge of raw sewage into the Lower Harbour area. Having adequate wastewater treatment infrastructure is essential to safeguard the environment and to facilitate housing and commercial development and we are committed to working with the local community in Cobh to minimise the impact of these works. I would encourage Cobh residents and businesses to contact the project team and register for regular project updates at to help us keep you informed as we work together to clean up our harbour.” 

Olaf Sorensen, Chairman of Sorensen Civil Engineering Limited said: “We are delighted to be back working in Cobh and partnering with Farrans Construction to deliver this important infrastructure for Irish Water and for Cobh”.  Farrans Construction bring a vast international utility experience to the partnership."

Kevin Corley, Managing Director of Farrans Construction​ said: “We will work closely with Sorensen, Irish Water and the communities in Cobh to deliver these works with the minimum of disruption”.

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