Opening of Midleton Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade


The official opening of the Midleton wastewater treatment plant upgrade took place on the 21st May.

In 2006, EPS was awarded a contract to operate the Midleton wastewater treatment plant, along with three other nearby wastewater treatment plants, for a period of 10 years.

However, due to an increased demand on the Midleton treatment plant, Cork County Council sought tenders through the public procurement route for a 50% increase in treatment capacity of the works.

The contract was awarded to EPS and work began shortly thereafter.

The original contract for the 10,000 PE works allowed for the hydraulic capacity of a 15,000 PE works in the inlet works to the plant. The inlet works uses physical separation processes to remove solids down to 6mm along with grit.

The bulk of the extension works concerned itself with the expansion of the biological treatment system, consisting largely of aeration tanks and associated mechanical and electrical works. Biological phosphorous removal was also included for using anoxic and anaerobic tanks.

Following biological treatment and final clarification, the new treatment stream is subjected to ultra violet treatment to reduce viable microorganisms before being combined with the flow from the original works to discharge.

Midleton Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Other mechanical work included the expansion of the aeration equipment to cater for the increased load and increased sludge handling and treatment. Some elements of the original plant were also upgraded under the expansion.

A new odour control and treatment unit was installed in place of the existing system. The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system was also upgraded to allow for inclusion of the old system. This allowed the council to dovetail the combined processes and to avoid obsolescence of the plant control, monitoring and data collection. The surplus activated sludge is dewatered to approximately 19% before being transported to composting facility.

The upgrade of the works removes any potential bottleneck for expansion and growth in the Midleton area in the domestic population or industrial/commercial area. It ensures the wastewater collected within the area will continue to be treated to the highest quality, now and into the foreseeable future.

Midleton, apart from generating its own regional population activity, also acts as a satellite town for Cork City to the east. Mr Noel O’Keeffe, Cork County Engineer, who was also present at the opening of the original 10,000 PE works, stated that the upgrade to the works was part of a countywide strategy to address the needs of the critical infrastructure required in water and wastewater.

At the official opening of the upgraded works, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan TD, congratulated everyone involved in the scheme while at the same time announcing that funding for the Youghal wastewater treatment plant had recently been approved and would soon be out for tender.  Indeed, true to his word, the tender contract documents for Youghal became available within a fortnight of the official Midleton opening.