Ballycotton fishermen express concerns for pier ahead of Irish Water waste water treatment plant plans

Fishermen in an East Cork village say they're concerned planned wastewater treatment works on the pier could threaten the infrastructure of the pier as well as their livelihoods.

Irish Water plan to excavate up to 15 feet underneath the toilet block on the pier where the pumping station is located in order to facilitate the treatment plant. 

Our senior reporter Fiona O'Donovan has more for RedFM News:

Statement from Irish Water:

Irish Water is working in partnership with Cork County Council to end the discharge of untreated wastewater into Ballycotton Bay. The overall objective of the Project is to end the discharge of over 860 wheelie bins of untreated sewage into Ballycotton Bay per day, protecting the local marine environment and facilitating future social and economic development in the area.

Irish Water has undertaken a detailed review of the options available to address the issue of untreated discharges to Ballycotton Bay. An Options Report has been compiled identifying the best locations for the new infrastructure. A rigorous review of the findings of the Options Report was undertaken. The conclusion of the process is that two pump stations are required  at Ballycotton Pier and Cow Lane, which will allow the transfer of waste water through new rising mains and the existing gravity network to a new waste water treatment plant. This will allow the safe discharge of treated wastewater into Ballycotton Bay.  

In April 2018 and March 2019 Irish Water held information evenings in Ballycotton. During both information evenings the Project Team met with the local community, Elected Representatives and representatives of the fishing community to discuss the proposed plans and site selection process. Irish Water would like to thank all attendees who engaged with us as we developed the project. We received valuable feedback during these information evenings which has helped inform the ongoing design and development of this important project. This feedback helped us to confirm the optimum site for the pumping station in the Ballycotton Pier area.

In addition to the Public Information Evenings, Irish Water and members of the design team have had a number of face to face meetings and correspondences with members of The Fishermens’ Association in relation to the scheme. Irish Water appreciates the concerns of the Fishermen and have committed to working with them to minimise disruption.  

The preferred location for the proposed pumping station on Ballycotton pier is where the public toilets are currently. With the agreement and co-operation of Cork County Council, new toilets will be reinstated following the completion of the construction of the pier pump station. Mitigation measures will be put in place to minimise impact to operations on the pier during construction. A temporary working area will be constructed in the harbour alongside the pumping station location and the current access road will be maintained for access to pier. Access to the pier will be maintained over this period other than for very limited periods, when underground pipework or ducting is being laid. On these occasions discussions with The Fishermens’ Association will take place to agree the timing of the works and to ensure that any disruption is minimised.

Site investigation works have been carried out to determine the ground conditions. Structural surveys of the pier will be undertaken in the coming weeks. The proposed location of the pump station will not limit any future development of the pier.

It is planned that Irish Water will submit a planning application to Cork County Council in the coming months. It is envisaged that the construction works for the entire scheme will be completed in 15-18 months, with construction commencing in the second half of 2020, subject to statutory approvals. The construction works on the pier will take 4-6 months.

The Project Team will continue to engage with the local community including Elected Representatives and representatives of the fishing community as the project progresses.

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