Irish Water have begun works on the reed beds pilot project in Carlow which aims to make operational cost savings in the treatment of sludge.
Work has commenced at Clonegal, Myshall and Fenagh with two other projects planned for Ballon and Raheendoran.
The pilot project is to trial the use of reed beds for the management and treatment of sludge.
If successful, this will be a more efficient and sustainable method of treating sludge and also resulting in operation cost savings.
Irish Water had to lodged planning applications for eight "innovative and environmentally friendly reed beds", representing a €900,000 investment across Carlow.
The reed bed acts as a natural filter for the sludge that comes out of wastewater treatment plants. This eliminates the need for the removal of the sludge off-site for separate processing.
Irish Water has signed a contract with Glan Agua to design and construct the proposed sludge drying reed beds at eight wastewater treatment plants in Carlow.
The locations are:
This cost-saving system will have numerous environmental, compliance, performance and financial benefits.
Among those is the removal of tankers carrying sludge from the roads, habitat creation at the treatment plant, greater controls for the caretaker on site, greater compliance and reduction in overflow to rivers.
This project will also address noise and odour issues that have been experienced by local residents.
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