The residents of Lixnaw and surrounding communities will enjoy significant health, environmental and economic benefits as a result of a €2 million investment by Irish Water, in partnership with Kerry County Council, in a new Integrated Constructed Wetlands (ICW) for the village. The appointment of a contractor will be announced in the coming weeks.
An Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) is a sustainable wastewater treatment system designed to look and function as a natural wetland. Constructed wetlands are created for the purpose of treating wastewater from rural communities like Lixnaw in an environmentally friendly way before allowing it to return to the water system safely. This project will involve the replacement of the existing treatment plant, which was designed to cater for a population equivalent (PE) of 300, with the new ICW capable of serving a population equivalent of 1,200 and meeting its EPA discharge licence.
Work to begin in Summer 2019
This €2 million investment will be built on 5.5 hectares of land in the north Kerry village which has been acquired by Irish Water from the Local Authority and the ICW will benefit the entire community once completed. It is expected that works will begin on the innovative wastewater treatment facility in Summer 2019 for completion in 2020. It will also feature a walking trail that the public will be able to avail of all year around on completion.
Integrated constructed wetlands are carefully planned to integrate into the natural surrounding landscape; they enhance biodiversity and are built using natural materials like native plants, trees, soil, sand and stones. They protect the environment and are a sustainable, natural wastewater treatment system.
Reduced operational and maintenance costs
An additional benefit is a lower capital and operations cost involved in constructing and operating the facility, compared to alternative or more conventional treatment methods. The reduced operational and maintenance costs resulting from this type of treatment delivers significant efficiencies through much lower whole of life costs. The ICW also provides a sustainable solution ensuring a long operational life of up to 100 years.
Speaking about the proposed ICW, Paul Cremin Capital Programmes Regional Lead with Irish Water, said “We are delighted to announce an investment of €2 million by Irish Water for a sustainable and environmentally friendly wastewater treatment system in Lixnaw, capable of meeting the current and future needs of the village. This Integrated Constructed Wetland will also feature a walking trail and has been carefully planned to integrate into the natural surrounding landscape. We wish to sincerely thank the local community, elected representatives and the Local Authority for their support of this project from the outset”.
Other constructed wetland projects
Irish Water is involved in a number of Integrated Constructed Wetland Projects around the country. Dunhill in Co. Waterford, Glaslough in Co. Monaghan and Clonaslee ICW in Co. Laois had already been progressed prior to the formation of Irish Water, while a further 11 sites across the country are currently undergoing feasibility assessment.