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• Promoting a Project Management Culture in a Local Authority Context • Contract Awarded for N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme • Investing in Wastewater Treatment Plants around the Country to Protect the Environment • Giving Ireland a Sustainable Future


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CONTENTS Vol 38. No 2.

FEATURES

Published by:

GILTRON LTD RIVERVIEW LODGE, DUBLIN ROAD, NAVAN, CO. MEATH. Tel: 00353 46 9072841 Email: info@localauthoritynews.ie Website: www.localauthoritynews.ie

ISSN NO. 1393-0394

LAN is available FREE OF CHARGE to all Local and Central Government Bodies throughout Ireland. Published bi-monthly it is disseminated to Local Authority Managers, Assistant Managers, County Secretaries, Finance Officers, Principal Officers, Department Heads, County Engineers, City Engineers, Chief Quantity Surveyors, Senior Architects, Plant Superintendents, Senior Executive Engineers, Town Clerks, Purchasing Officers, Administrative Officers, Inspectors, Park Superintendents, County Librarians, etc. in all Government Departments, County Councils, Corporations, Office of Public Works, Urban District Councils, State-Sponsored and Development Bodies and Agencies.

FIREBIRD HEATING SOLUTIONS DESIGNS NEW QUICK FIT UNIT

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PROMOTING A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CULTURE IN A LOCAL AUTHORITY CONTEXT

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CONTRACT AWARDED FOR N/M20 CORK TO LIMERICK ROAD IMPROVEMENT SCHEME

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LITTER SURVEY SHOWS TOURIST HOTSPOTS WELL SET FOR PEAK SEASON

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KILKENNY CITY TOPS IRISH BUSINESS AGAINST LITTER SURVEY

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GRANT LEADS THE WAY WITH MULTIPLE PACKAGE SOLUTIONS OFFERING

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88 BLUE FLAGS AND 62 GREEN COAST AWARDS AWARDED FOR THE 2019

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PLANS PROGRESS FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WASTEWATER FACILITY FOR LIXNAW 21 QUAD BIKE TRAINING PROVING TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AT DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL MINISTER ROSS ANNOUNCES N5 BALLAGHADERREEN TO SCRAMOGE ROAD PROJECT

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EPA WELCOMES IMPROVEMENTS IN BATHING WATERS THOUGH MORE ACTION IS REQUIRED AT A SMALL NUMBER OF BEACHES 28

REGULARS IRISH WATER UPDATES

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DEPARTMENT BREIFS

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CLASSIFIEDS

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Firebird Heating Solutions Designs New Quick Fit Unit There is no denying that these are challenging times for our planet and that the choices we make when heating our homes will have an impact. At the forefront of technology, Firebird Heating Solutions have always been committed to providing cost-effective, energy efficient heating solutions for Irish homes that not only meet, but easily exceed today’s legislative requirements. All new buildings that are occupied after the 31st December 2020 will need to comply with the new Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) requirement outlined in the Energy performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The nearly zero amount of energy required should be covered to a significant extent by energy from renewable sources. In Technical Guidance Document L (TGDL) 2011, Ireland had a renewables contribution of 10kWh/m2 whereas for TGDL 2019 Ireland must have a renewables contribution of 20% overall. Firebird have an extensive range of renewable energy products such as the Enviroair heat pump and solar thermal systems. New to Firebird is the fully pre-plumbed and pre-wired Quick Fit Firebird Heating Solutions Quick Fit Unit Unit which is an indoor product developed by Firebird Heating Solutions and is unique in that it allows for the combination of different heat sources in an efficient, space saving and cost-effective manner. It is designed to support the mechanical and electrical contractor, leaving the homeowner stress free, with a contemporary kitchen-like finished product. Firebird Heating Solutions Quick Fit Unit provides an easy solution when installing a Firebird Enviroair heat pump as a heat source and using our specifically designed low running cost PCB controller to manage your hot water and zoned heating system on gradient curved weather compensation. Priority hot water is enabled on all units, meaning that hot water is available on demand. The Quick Fit Unit comes with wheels for easy movable access, a built-in drip tray for a quick drain down safe system and child safety in mind with a chain lockable door. Our single heat exchanger cylinder coil has a larger surface area for low temperature appliances, but it can also be Enviroair Air to Water Heat Pump manufactured with a twin coil adapted for solar and a heat pump. This now takes the emphasis off the higher side of energy demand in a BER which is for water heating and adds to the renewables contribution.

For further information on any Firebird products please visit www.firebird.ie or contact Firebird Heating Solutions:

Tel: 026 45253

Email: info@firebird.ie 3


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PROMOTING A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CULTURE IN A LOCAL AUTHORITY CONTEXT Introduction The acute need for a project management approach within Limerick City and County Council arose from the introduction of a matrix organisational structure in April 2016 following the merger of the two local authorities in 2014. A new operating model was introduced separating strategic and operational functions to create greater focus and efficiency, given the diminishing resources in local government. The approach creates greater agility in Limerick City and County Council to manage the increased demands for local services and better capacity to take on new opportunities. This configuration prompted a need for a well-defined process to manage initiatives that leveraged resources from the different funding sources. Using a project management approach would lead to a consistent process to manage matrix teams and provide effective reporting to internal and external stakeholders. I would like to set the organisational context and then describe some of the main challenges we are facing as we implement our new project management approach. The progression to a matrix structure Following the announcement in 2014, that a merger was imminent between both Limerick Authorities, advance planning for the merger commenced immediately. The driving forces behind the modification of the organisational structure were a new model of local governance and the need for a proactive service delivery within Limerick City and County Council. The majority of local authorities are typically organised as a functional structure. Wherein the organisation is typically broken down into different sections based upon the specialties. Functional structures create rigid vertical chains of command with staff grouped together in silos. This rigid structure hinders staff movement between functional departments. From 2012 to 2014 the initial changes to the organisational structure reduced the overall number of nine directorates down to five allowing for better use of staff resources. See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Organisational Structure 2012- 2014 Although, the 2014 structure allowed functional directors access to a larger cohort of staff resources a clear emphasis on strategy development was still required. The need for strategy development resulted in the evolution of a matrix structure which separated strategic functions from operational functions. Three strategic directorates: Social, Economic and Physical were identified with a primary role of strategic development (see Figure 2). In the context of project management the role of the strategic departments is to meet on a regular basis and ‘choose the right projects’ for the organisation as opposed to the Service Operations Directorate whose role is to ‘do projects right’.

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Figure 2. Matrix Organisational Structure 2016

Following a review of the merged authority in 2018, the existing directorates and functions were re-aligned in response to both local and national priorities which resulted in additional directorates focusing on Housing Development and Capital Investment (see Figure 3). One of the strengths of the new authority has been the capacity to respond to the needs and demands of a changing environment and adapt to the new challenges that lie ahead over the next decade.

In Limerick City and County Council’s matrix organisation control is shared between directorates determining how projects are delivered. The project manager, typically located within capital investment directorate shares responsibility for the project, while the relevant strategic director is accountable for the successful delivery of the project. As the matrix structure gives responsibility to both project managers and strategic directors the outcome is a more seamless division of labour and ultimately will build a stronger team culture.

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Figure 3 Matrix Organisational Structure 2018 Key Challenges Based on the organisational context above and to ensure an efficacious project management approach I have outlined five key challenges that we faced. Cultural Change Following the merger, it was evident that dissimilar project management cultures existed albeit, both authorities had to comply with many external project management guidelines such as the Capital Works Management Framework, TII Project Management Guidelines, NTA Project Management Guidelines‌etc. Our cultural change began with a vision that was reinforced by consultation, training and management tools which ensured behavioural change. The first initiative established a Project Management Advisory Group (PMAG) within the organisation. The primary role of the PMAG determined the extent of project management knowledge within the new organisation and identified common approaches. Throughout the process of establishing a common approach we focused on a number of key areas. Firstly, we leveraged effective project and portfolio management practices within the organisation. Secondly, senior management buy-in was essential to the success of such an organisational endeavour; early buy-in from key line managers, project managers and team members were also critical success factors. Thirdly, all too often the primary portfolio, programme and project roles were poorly defined with ambiguity surrounding the responsibility and accountability for key activities. These roles need to be understood in the context of a 'project management environment', and particularly in a matrix organisational structure. In order to do this organisation level agreements (OLAs) were created and accepted by each of the directorates in turn, clearly defining roles and responsibilities. Next, a common project approach should not be so prescriptive that it can only apply to complex projects. The approach was fashioned to be scalable and applicable to real scenarios across all types of projects ensuring that the basic principles of the corporate project management approach are transparent and are easily understood.

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Furthermore, The PMAG was used as a sounding board for the development of new common processes and project templates. The information gained from the PMAG in addition to the development of our own local authority focused project management training, allowed us to achieve a common process as well as awareness and language within the organisation around project management. In our approach we were very conscious to include people in the process and avoid coercion tactics, particularly before a clear vision of the future was in place. Metrics From the outset, our aim was to radically change how we manage projects and a considerable amount of resources were committed to ensure the success of this approach. The challenge remains that “If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" as the saying goes. As an integral part of our project management improvement process within Limerick City and County Council, it was necessary to set a baseline of our project, programme and portfolio management maturity. In order to measure the maturity of our organisation, we used a Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3) to assess and benchmark our current performance. The P3M3 model has five maturity levels: • • • • •

Level 1: Awareness Level 2: Repeatable Level 3: Defined Level 4: Managed Level 5: Optimised.

The model is based on the opinions and experiences of various staff members at different levels throughout the organisation who are involved with delivering projects, managing programmes and developing corporate strategies. In order to build the model there were three key assessment groups focused on; namely, Project Managers, Programme Managers and Portfolio Managers. In turn, they were assessed across seven project management perspectives: • • • • • • •

Organisational governance Management control Benefits management Risk management Stakeholder management Finance management Resource management.

Information harvested from the survey was collated and mainly used to identify areas for improvement and to measure the success of our project management initiatives. More specifically, data from these surveys was referenced in drawing-up an improvement plan and continuous project management improvement initiatives going forward. Compliance with the Public Spending Code The Public Spending Code imposes obligations on local authorities and other public organisations who spend public money, at all stages of the project/programme life-cycle. These obligations are challenging to those that have responsibility at the different stages i.e. those within the Sponsoring Agency or Sanctioning Authority responsible for appraising, planning, approving, implementing or reviewing projects. An additional requirement of the Public Spending Code is that each Department should put in place an internal, independent, quality assurance procedure involving annual reporting on how organisations are meeting their Public Spending Code obligations. The project management approach incorporated the PSC requirements through various means, namely, a project governance structure, project templates, and the management of all projects under one project management information system

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Project Management Governance Project governance is an “oversight function that is aligned with the organisation's governance model and encompasses the project life cycle,” according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition (Project Management Institute, 2013, p. 34). There are two critical challenges in this assertion that need to be accentuated: Firstly, alignment with organisation's governance; there needs to be an understanding of the projects environment to ensure that there is a right fit with the established organisation's governance. This alignment is a crucial challenge and must be considered when defining the project governance structure, roles and responsibilities and stakeholder engagement and communication. These prerequisites need to be addressed at the project’s onset. Secondly, the project manager needs to conform to the governance plan throughout the project and control the effectiveness of the governance plan. When controlling the project, the project manager ensures that there are adequate meetings, reporting, risk and issue management and project management change control. Development of the project tracking system To ensure the effective management and quality control of projects within the organisation and to allow the above challenges to be addressed in a synchronised approach a bespoke project tracking system was required. In essence, a system that would allow the centralisation of project management processes, tools, templates and a project management governance structure. The main benefits of such a system allows for: • Rapid project status reporting • Management of risks and issues throughout the project lifecycle • Management of change control on projects • Financial integration with existing financial systems • Integration with our CRM system. • Project Goverance Conclusion – Moving forward with a project management approach Of course, implementing an organisational wide project management approach successfully will not happen overnight. Implementing formal project management processes requires a concerted effort by the organisation to develop and implement policies, processes, and project methodologies to support its effective use. Additionally, certain behavioural expectations of the organisations’ staff are necessary for the systematic and successful implementation of the project approach. There needs to be enthusiasm and buy-in across the authority, and not just from senior management but from all staff. This can be achieved through a series of consultative workshops to develop the project management material and agreeing a clear method for implementation. Collaborative working is essential for success and the recognition that there must be some level of change management required. The implementation and portraying of the project management approach needs to be planned and pitched at the right level; it will need to be supported by ongoing in-house training and awareness sessions. The result is an authority that can adapt to changing circumstances across a broad range of projects and programmes and be assured in its ability to manage risk and resources.

John Moloney Chartered Engineer – Limerick City and County Council John is currently working with in the Business Improvement Department and is responsible for the rollout of a project management approach across Limerick City and County Council. Over the last 18 years, John has worked in various engineering roles within housing and roads both in the private and public sectors. He holds a BE in civil engineering and a MSc in project and programme management.

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Contract awarded for N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme

Liam Prendiville, MD Barry Transportation, Mayor James Collins, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Conn Murray and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. (Pic: Alan Place)

The Contract has been awarded for the biggest infrastructure project outside of Dublin - the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme. Limerick City and County Council, as lead authority for the massive project, has appointed Barry Transportation, and its project partners WSP and Sweco, as Technical Advisors to progress the scheme up to the stage where it will be submitted for planning. The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was present for the signing of the contracts. Limerick City and County Council is working in partnership with Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Tipperary County Council, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland on developing the N/M20 Cork to Limerick Road Improvement Scheme, which is part of Project Ireland 2040. Project Ireland 2040 states that an opportunity exists to provide better connectivity between the two cities by improving the quality of the transport network which will address road safety issues associated with the existing N20 route and provide for safer and more efficient journey times. The two cities are approximately 100km apart, yet at present the economic interaction and inter-relationships between the cities is limited, with poor transport connectivity being a factor. Once completed the second, third and fourth cities of the country (Cork, Limerick and Galway) will be connected through a quality transport network.

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Planning and design will commence this month, with Barry Transportation, WSP and Sweco, providing all engineering, environmental, economic and appraisal services required to deliver the project through these planning and design phases. As part of these phases there will be extensive public consultation taking place. Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “This project is critical for the economic development of Limerick and the wider region along the Atlantic Corridor. It will save lives and improve the quality of life for those who rely on this transport corridor for business, work, study and tourism.” Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council said: “This project is identified in Project Ireland 2040 National Development Plan as a major enabler for balanced regional development by substantially delivering the Atlantic Corridor, with a high quality road network linking Limerick, Cork and Galway.”

“Limerick City and County Council welcomes the appointment of the Technical Advisors. Together with our partners in the local authorities in Cork and Tipperary, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, we are committed to delivering this major national infrastructural project.” Michael Nolan, Chief Executive Officer of Transport Infrastructure Ireland added: “Transport Infrastructure Ireland are committed to delivering the project which is a priority for the Project Ireland 2040.”

Liam Prendiville, Managing Director at Barry Transportation said: “We are delighted to be working with Limerick City and County Council on the planning process for this vital arterial route, which will improve journey times and journey time reliability between Cork and Limerick”. A Project Office has been established in Lissanalta House, Dooradoyle, Limerick V94 H5RR. For further information see www.corklimerick.ie or phone 061 951000.

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Litter survey shows tourist hotspots well set for peak season

Ireland’s principal tourist towns and cities are cleaner than ever as the peak season for visitors approaches. This is according to the latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), which showed Dublin, Galway and Cork city centres, Kilkenny and Killarney registering record levels of cleanliness. By contrast, Ballymun was deemed a litter blackspot at the foot of the rankings. Dublin North Inner City was again seriously littered, a status IBAL attributes in part to the widespread use of bags over bins in domestic waste collection. Litter levels were assessed in 40 towns and cities across the country by An Taisce, who found 31 of them, or 77% to be clean. This was in line with recent IBAL surveys. Kilkenny topped the rankings for the 5th time, ahead of Athlone and Killarney, and the centres of our main cities Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford were cleaner than previously, only Limerick failing to achieve Clean status. “Today’s tourists demand high levels of cleanliness and these results indicate that’s what they will be getting this year when they come to Ireland,” says IBAL’s Conor Horgan. “It is also important that their first impression be a good one, so it’s pleasing to see the roads around Dublin Airport are again to Clean to European norms.” An Taisce complimented Kilkenny on “returning to a place it has been many times – the top of the IBAL table. The entire area was pristine.” Portlaoise, Tralee and Letterkenny enjoyed their best-ever showings in the survey and were among 14 towns deemed to be ‘Cleaner than European norms”. For the first time in 3 years, an area received the lowest grade of ‘litter blackspot’ as Ballymun recorded one of the worst results since the league was founded 17 years ago. The examiner noted it was “especially

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disappointing that sites which had been top ranking in previous surveys were littered”. The car park at Ballymun Shopping Centre was described as “a complete ‘eye-sore’ right in the centre of Ballymun” while Balbutcher Lane wasn’t just littered but subject to dumping, as was Shangan Road. “An indication of the progress we’ve made over past 5 years has been the absence of litter blackspots in our survey,” says Mr Horgan. However, as the Ballymun and other results show, there has been little if any progress in disadvantaged areas of our cities. The gap between these areas and the commercial high-footfall commercial city centres is widening.” Galvone in Limerick City South was deemed ‘littered’, but improved significantly on its previous result, while the Mahon in Cork and Cork’s Northside remained littered. Dublin’s North Inner City improved slightly but was still ‘seriously littered’ near the foot of the rankings. According to IBAL, changing domestic waste collection from plastic bags to conventional bins could significantly improve cleanliness in this area. “Bags are an antiquated form of collection which lead to dumping,” says Mr Horgan. “All too often they are left out for long periods on the street and attract other people’s waste. In addition, they are prey to the growing problem of gulls or vermin damaging them in the search for food. Bins present an altogether neater and more hygienic solution.” IBAL is calling on the Council to review the many streets which are exempted from an EU law requiring waste collection by bins and work with the private waste companies to introduce special bins where space is an issue. “The derogation from the EU law in the North Inner City is too broad, with damaging consequences.” Dumping continues to feature prominently in IBAL surveys and accounts for many of the individual blackspots found in cities. Limerick City’s rating was brought down by dumping in the basements of Cecil Street and an area at Upper William Street, described as “filthy, one of the worst sites in a city centre environment.”Ahouse on Seville Place in Dublin was used as a dumping ground, with “a mattress and all manner of rubbish” present, while a car park at Lakelands View in Mahon in Cork was “in a shocking state, clearly used as a dumping ground for domestic rubbish … soiled nappies and several dozen black sacks”. Otherwise clean, Ballybeg in Waterford suffered from dumping beside the GAA Club and at the Horticultural Project Initiative. “What was probably set out to be a place of pleasure has been destroyed,” according to An Taisce. “We have a perception of dumping as something that takes place outside of our cities and towns, far from public view,” says Mr Horgan. “The survey shows this is not the case.”

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Kilkenny City tops Irish Business Against Litter Survey •

Kilkenny City is cleaner than ever as the peak visitor season approaches.

Kilkenny topped the poll for a clean litter free environment for the 5th time. Litter levels were assessed in 40 towns and cities across the country by An Taisce, who found 31 of them, or 77% to be clean. An Taisce complimented Kilkenny on “returning to a place it has been many times – the top of the IBAL table and advised that the entire area was pristine.”

Chief Ececutive, Colette Byrne and left to right Paddy Kavanagh Assistant Foreman, Michael Brennan, Foreman, and some of the City cleaning team, Brian McEneaney, Michael Delaney, Michael Slattery and Chris Byrne

Set up in 1996, Irish Business Against Litter is an alliance of companies sharing a belief that continued economic prosperity - notably in the areas of tourism, food and direct foreign investment - is contingent on a clean, litter-free environment. As part of the IBAL Anti-Litter League, An Taisce monitors towns independently and in accordance with international grading standards.

“Kilkenny County Council are delighted to once again top the poll at the start of a new term for our Elected Council” says Colette Byrne, Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council. “Keeping Kilkenny clean and litter free requires not only significant financial investment but investment in education and awareness and enforcement which the Environment Section of the Council delivers on and will continue to develop. She also paid huge tribute to the significant work undertaken daily by the City Environmental team and to the significant input of voluntary groups particularly Keep Kilkenny Beautiful and Kilkenny Sub Aqua who play a major role in keeping our roadways, streets and rivers clean and litter free”. Additionally, Kilkenny County Council has a zero tolerance approach to illegal dumping in order to protect public health and keep our City clean. This holds through for the County also where with the assistance of the public and enforcement Kilkenny County Council has been assisted in eliminating many litter blackspots throughout the County. Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of Kilkenny City and County and the presentation of the City and County is critical in assisting with same.

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Grant leads the way with Multiple Package Solutions offering Heating technology manufacturer Grant continues to drive the industry forward with its new Multiple Package Solutions offering for new build properties. Combining its diverse product portfolio and team’s specialist knowledge, this free of charge offering is helping those undertaking a new build project and involves the design, quote and supply of the property’s entire heating requirements under one roof. “Combining multiple heating technologies which complement one another in operation and ensuring correct product sizing to meet the property’s exact heating requirements can help to take efficiencies to a new level and ultimately provide greater long-term savings in terms of heating costs,” explains Barry Gorman, Grant Technical Team. This latest development from Grant once more represents the manufacturer’s commitment to meeting the changing demands of those involved in building new properties with an innovative approach. With a straightforward process, Grant can identify the best heat source for the property – such as an Aerona3 air source heat pump – accompanying hot water cylinders, and suitable heat emitters including the Grant Solo fan convector radiators, Grant Afinia aluminium radiators, or the integration of underfloor heating.

Aerona3 R32 13kW Model

Models within Grant’s range of highly-efficient Aerona3 air source heat pumps are a key feature of the Multiple Package Solutions offering and are proving to be a popular choice for new build properties as they help meet Part L compliance required under building regulations. Underpinning Grant’s forward-thinking approach, a new A+++ 13kW R32 heat pump was recently introduced to the Aerona3 range which incorporates the more environmentally-friendly R32 refrigerant. The heat pumps are not only cleaner and more sustainable in operation but are also exceptionally efficient. This latest model comes ahead of the upcoming 2014 EU Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Regulations and all models within the existing Aerona3 range will feature R32 refrigerant in the coming months. Barry adds, “Available in a range of outputs, an Aerona3 heat pump provides a superior seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) even if external temperatures were to drop as low as -20°C. Models within the range also have several intelligent design features including weather compensation controls and a base tray heating element to stop ice formation in cold weather conditions. Using an entirely renewable heat source, the heat pumps are also an excellent choice for future-proofing a property as they have a lower dependency on fossil fuels and as a result are less susceptible to rising fuel costs.”

3 Easy Steps 1. 2.

3.

Send your planning drawings to heatpump@grantengineering.ie A member of the Grant team will be in touch with you to discuss requirements You will receive full property specifications with recommended products all available from Grant.

Completing a property’s full heating requirements, Grant has an impressive range of modern heat emitters within its product portfolio to choose from. With low temperature operation, an Aerona3 heat pump works effectively with either the Grant Solo fan convector radiators which are available in three models, Grant Afinia aluminium radiators which are versatile and champion a slim and compact design, or underfloor heating which can be easily integrated into any heating system.

Grant’s full range of heating solutions are available from leading plumbing and heating merchants throughout Ireland.

For more information visit www.grant.eu 17


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Blue Flag Beaches County Louth Barry Eaton of Louth County Council believes that “Louth may be Ireland’s smallest county but our diverse coastline offers something for all visitors. Tourism is extremely important to Louth and it is imperative that our beaches are clean and litter-free. Our Blue Flag and Green Coast beaches offer great opportunities for swimming, walking and family fun. The lifeguard services at the Blue Flag beaches provide a high degree of safety for those wishing to get involved in water based activities and provide a safe environment for families and visitors alike to enjoy a great day out”. Drogheda is the destination for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2019 which will take place between 11-18 August.

It is the biggest traditional Irish music festival on the planet, a jamboree of music, song and dance. Last year it attracted over half a million visitors and many of them enjoyed the great beaches which Louth has to offer!

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88 Blue Flags and 62 Green Coast Awards awarded for the 2019

n Taisce announced the International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award recipients for 2019. The awards were presented at ceremony held at The Armada Hotel overlooking Spanish point Blue Flag beach in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare this afternoon.

A

Speaking at the awards ceremony International Blue Flag Director Sophie Bachet Granados, who presented the Blue Flags said: “The Blue Flag has operated in Ireland for over thirty year’s now. At The Foundation for Environmental Education we have been impressed by the standard of the sites from Ireland over this period. The Blue Flag is a symbol of excellence in environmental education, management, water quality, safety and services. I am delighted to be here today at Spanish Point, County Clare with our national operators An Taisce to present the Blue Flags to the Local Authorities and Marina Operators successful in achieving the Blue Flag standard”. The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Award sites are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups of which there are now over 800 comprised of thousands of volunteers throughout the island. Mr. Ian Diamond, Coastal Awards Manager for An Taisce in announcing this year’s Green Coast Award recipients stated: “These awards are not easily achieved and represent a real effort by local authorities in cooperation with Clean Coasts groups to reach the highest standards in water quality and environmentally sensitive beach management. An Taisce would like to acknowledge in particular the dedication of Clean Coasts groups around the coast who give up their time to care for their local beaches throughout the year.”

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Blue Flag The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. The Blue Flag originated in France in 1985 when French coastal Local Authorities were awarded with the Blue Flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. It was launched as an International programme as part of the “European Year of the Environment in 1987. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France 19 beaches and 2 marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and eco-tourism boats around the world. The 80 Irish beaches and 8 marinas that have achieved this accolade must adhere to specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and site management.

The number of sites receiving the award is down 2 on last year’s total. Rathmullan Marina in Donegal has achieved Blue Flag Status for the first time this year. All 7 marinas awarded in 2018 have retained Blue Flag status for the coming season. 80 of the 83 beaches awarded in 2018 retained Blue Flag Status for 2018. An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland is responsible for the operation of the Blue Flag programme in Ireland on behalf of the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE). 49 Countries operate the Blue Flag programme globally and more than 4500 sites and eco-tourism boats will be awarded in 44 countries this year. The Blue Flag programme in Ireland is supported by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 62 Beaches receive the Green Coast Award for the 2018 Bathing Season The Green Coast Awards were presented back in 2003 to four beaches in County Wexford, it was rolled out nationally in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. The award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the management of sites in partnership with local Clean Coasts groups. These volunteers participate in community clean-ups and in cooperation with Local Authorities help sensitively manage their local beaches throughout the year. This year’s total of 62 is the highest number of sites to receive a Green Coast Award in Ireland to date. Seapoint in Termonfeckin and Rinroe in Co. Mayo are both first-time recipients of the award in 2019. Seapoint in Termonfeckin is the first site in County Louth to receive a Green Coast Award. Cadogan’s Strand in Cork has regained a Green Coast Award for the first time in 8 years. In the Republic of Ireland the Green Coast Award is operated by An Tasice’s Environmental Education unit with the support of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Fáilte Ireland. An International Award the Green Coast Award is coordinated Northern Ireland and Wales by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy respectively.

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Plans progress for a sustainable and environmentally friendly wastewater facility for Lixnaw

Integrated Constructed Wetlands The residents of Lixnaw and surrounding communities will enjoy significant health, environmental and economic benefits as a result of a â‚Ź2 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.

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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 syste

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.

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Quad Bike Training proving to be more important than ever at Dublin City Council Dublin City Council engaged the training services of FRS Training to provide their Quad/ATV operators with the right training to ensure they have the knowledge and knowhow to operate these all-terrain vehicles safely. The training took place on the 5th of June at North Bull Island Interpretative Centre, North Bull Island Nature Reserve, Dublin by experienced FRS tutor, Kieran Mc Govern. Ger Doyle, Executive Health and Safety Officer for the Dublin City Council, organised the one day LANTRA certified All-Terrain Vehicle training course for six of the councils’ operators with FRS Training and the feedback from the course was extremely positive.

Left to Right are Gerard Doyle, Conor McGuire, Graham Joyce, Pat Corrigan, Brendan Bulger, Gerard Bridger and Niamh Corrigan from the Dublin City Council who completed their Quad Bike/ATV training course with FRS Training at North Bull Island Nature Reserve, Dublin, on the 5th of June 2019. Photo was taken by FRS Tutor on the course, Kieran McGovern.

Quad bikes / ATVs are becoming more actively used in the workplace outside of the traditional farm workplace. In particular County Councils and OPWs have seen more of a requirement for these vehicles and hence the need for operator training to safeguard the users. Fatal and very serious accidents have occurred using these All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), which are designed generally for off-road use. The main cause of accidents is often correlated to the lack of training of the operator and the lack of protective gear used.

Pictured Left to Right are Brendan Bulger, Conor McGuire, Gerard Bridger from the Dublin City Council who completed their Quad Bike/ATV training course with FRS Training at North Bull Island Nature Reserve, Dublin, on the 5th of June 2019.

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Ger Doyle, Dublin City Council, commented about the course and said; “The quad course was set up for new and existing staff to meet our statutory obligation to provide training and information. Following evaluation of the course with staff, we were very impressed with the practical hands-on emphasis of the program. I would recommend the Lantra ATV course provided by FRS to any organisation or individuals looking for quad training. Overall I feel that the operators are now more informed of the risks surrounding the operation of an ATV contributing to a stronger safety culture.”


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There's a balanced mix of theory and practice throughout the courses, starting with a detailed look at key health and safety issues. The finer points of route planning and understanding exactly what the vehicle can do is covered, which leads into a series of practical sessions on the vehicle. Basic manoeuvres, riding on a range of different and challenging terrains and operating the vehicle with loads and trailers are also covered. Dublin City Council taking part in their Quad Bike/ATV training course with FRS Training at North Bull Island Nature Reserve, Dublin, on the 5th of June 2019.

Quad/ATV Guidelines to maximise safety: • Professional training should be facilitated before operating these vehicles. This requirement is deemed as ‘vital and legal requirement', by the H.S.A. • Be familiar with the operation manual. Know the towing capacity and drawbar loading limit. • Participants must be over 16 years of age to operate or drive quads/ATVs. • Before operating the vehicle, ensure you have performed a safety check. The H.S.A. suggests you check the tyre pressure, the operation of brakes and check that the throttle operates smoothly in all steering positions. • Good driving positions are necessary to Dublin City Council keeping the right body position and balance over prevent tipping and maximise safety sloped terrain on their Quad Bike/ATV training course with FRS Training at North Bull Island Nature Reserve, Dublin, on the 5th of June 2019. when driving on any possible terrains and slopes. • Never carry a passenger. Carrying a passenger is an illegal action, where a seat is not fitted unless stated in manufactures’ manual, according to the R.S.A. Carrying a passenger hinders a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes a helmet, for protection of your head and visor or goggles to shield your eyes. Clothing should cover your arms and legs, along with gloves and boots or wellingtons should also be worn FRS Training can organise the following Quad / ATV courses: • 2 day QQI level 5 (5N1752) ATV Operations. • 1 day Lantra All-Terrain Vehicle – sit –Astride

NO safety – KNOW pain KNOW safety – NO pain Contact Rosemary McTeague, FRS Training, on 071-9663952 or 086-1852337 to talk through your training requirements or e-mail rmcteague@frstraining.com.

www.frstraining.com

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Minister Ross announces N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project Announcement of N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross T.D. is happy to announce that the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project has obtained planning approval and is to progress to construction. Minister Ross said: “This new national road will provide essential links between communities. As well as a new carriageway the project will include an additional 13km of side roads and existing road improvements, 17 at-grade T-junctions and 5 roundabouts. Good roads mean safe roads for all who use them. This new project improves safety for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists and supports the Government’s Road Safety Strategy. It will also eliminate sections of the N5 that have a collision rate twice above the national average. The road network is the workhorse of our social and economic infrastructure. All of our bus services rely on our road network, the bulk of our freight is carried by road, and crucially, our road network links towns, cities and villages together boosting employment and investment.” The project comprises the construction of 34km of new single carriageway road that will extend from the western end of the existing N5 Ballaghaderreen Bypass to the townland of Scramoge in County Roscommon, bypassing the towns and villages of Frenchpark, Bellanagare, Tulsk and Strokestown. During the economic downturn Roscommon County Council continued to develop a plan to improve the N5 corridor. As a result, a business case was produced and it concluded that the construction of a new road to replace the existing N5 route was required.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland approved the business case for the project in December 2017 following technical appraisal reviews carried out by both the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DTTaS) and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). Approval was also given to Roscommon County Council to commence the statutory planning process and the scheme was submitted to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) in December 2017, along with the associated Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). An oral hearing into the proposed road development was convened by ABP on the 9th & 10th October 2018 in Strokestown and the Board confirmed approval for the scheme on 16th January 2019.

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After concluding statutory public notifications process Roscommon County Council notified all affected landowners of the CPO becoming operative on 21st of March 2019. Roscommon County Council will continue to liaise with land and property owners as the road project proceeds. Following the expiry of the period in which a party may apply for leave to seek a judicial review of ABP’s decision under the provision of the Planning and Development Act 2000 as amended (latest date being 23rd April 2019), Roscommon County Council are now in a position to proceed with the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project. Currently, technical consultancy services are being procured to assist the Roscommon National Roads Office with the preparation of the main construction contract documents, the procurement process and the administration and monitoring of the main construction contract. During 2019, a series of advance works contracts will commence including archaeological investigations, ground investigations, boundary fencing, tree felling and additional clearance works. TII will support Roscommon County Council to achieve contract award before the end of 2020. Following receipt of tenders and subject to Government Approval to proceed the main construction contract will take three years to complete. The total estimated investment value of the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project is approximately €200million. This project is a key deliverable identified in Project Ireland 2040, improving access to the North West region of the country. When completed it will replace one of Ireland’s more deficient sections of national primary road. Benefits of the Project The anticipated benefits of this road project include: •

Provides a safe and modern road to meet the requirement of the EU Regulations relating to the TEN-T network;

Improves the environment of Strokestown, Tulsk, Bellanagare and Frenchpark by the removal of through traffic and in particular HGVs;

Improves safety for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists and support the Government’s Road Safety Strategy;

Eliminates sections of the N5 that have a collision rate twice above the national average.

Reduces the cost of travel for business and improve journey times and journey time reliability along the N5;

Provides a consistent high quality road along the N5 corridor to encourage and support investment and employment in County Roscommon and the west and north-west regions; and avoids adverse impact on the existing internationally important archaeological site of Rathcroghan.

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EPA welcomes improvements in bathing waters though more action is required at a small number of beaches The 2018 EPA Bathing Water report, sets out bathing water quality during the long hot summer of 2018. Overall, 94 per cent of the 145 identified bathing waters met the minimum EU standards last year, with over 100 beaches classified as Excellent. Three new bathing waters, Dooey and Magheraroarty in Donegal and Seafield Quilty in Clare, were classified for the first time in 2018. All three were classified as Excellent. Key findings of the report: • 145 bathing waters were identified in 2018, an increase of three since 2017. • 94 per cent of identified bathing waters (137 of 145) met at least the minimum EU standards. • 103 of 145 bathing waters were classified as Excellent. A further 22 were classified as Good and 12 were classified as Sufficient, meeting the mandatory requirement. • Five bathing waters were classified as Poor, down from seven in 2017. Three of these are in the Dublin area (Sandymount Strand, Merrion Strand and Portrane (the Brook) Beach). The other two are Lilliput (Lough Ennell) in Co. Westmeath and Clifden, Co. Galway. • Sandymount Strand has been classified as Poor for the past two years with Portrane (the Brook) Beach and Clifden, receiving a Poor classification for the past three years. This is the fourth year that Merrion Strand was classified as Poor. Lilliput (Lough Ennell), which had a Good classification in 2017, deteriorated to Poor in 2018. • Improvements were made in three bathing waters previously classified as Poor: Loughshinny and Rush (South Beach) in Fingal and Ballyloughane near Galway City. • Three Bathing waters at Dooey and Magheraroarty in Donegal and at Seafield Quilty in Clare, were classified for the first time in 2018 and all three received an Excellent classification. • Three bathing waters at Forty Foot Bathing Place, Sandycove Beach and White Rock Beach were newly identified in 2018 and will be classified following the 2019 bathing season. Andy Fanning, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Evidence and Assessment said: “It is great to see local authorities identifying new bathing waters with excellent water quality. At the other end of the scale, we have five bathing waters that have been classified as Poor. More intensive action needs to be taken by local authorities to address the issues and protect the health of bathers.” Jenny Deakin, EPA Senior Scientific Officer, said: “Ireland has many beautiful beaches and some inland bathing waters with excellent water quality. The report covers the 145 EU identified bathing waters. It also provides information on 72 other waters that are not covered by the legislation that are monitored by the local authorities because bathing or recreational activities take place there. “During the summer, current water quality information and details of any incidents affecting bathing waters will be displayed on the beaches.ie website. If you are heading to the beach with your family or friends, check www.beaches.ie or our Twitter feed @EPABeaches, before heading out. Most importantly, when you get to the beach always check the local notice board to be sure the water quality is good before you dip your toe.” The report Bathing Waters in Ireland 2018, bathing water 2018 infographic and map of the quality of Ireland’s Bathing water sites are available on the EPA website.

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Investing in Wastewater Treatment plants around the country to protect the Environment Part of a large scale nationwide scheme to benefit communities and safeguard the environment Irish Water is upgrading the wastewater treatment plants in towns and villages around Ireland as part of a large scale nationwide scheme to benefit communities and safeguard the environment. The works are being carried out in partnership with the local authorities. Claire Lyons, Capital Programme Manager "Ensuring that the wastewater generated every day in our homes, schools and workplaces is treated in compliance with the EU and national wastewater treatment regulations and can be safely returned to the environment is a key priority for Irish Water." Works expected to be completed by 2021 “Works will begin in the coming months, once the final statutory approvals are in place, and are expected to be completed by 2021. As the majority of the works will be carried out within the plants, Irish Water will be able to minimise disruption to residents and businesses in the surrounding area.” Upgrade to the inlet works We are investing over €16 million in the works, which include upgrades to the inlet works, storm water management and sludge treatment and storage. Further information on the works taking place in each county can be found on Our Projects Page. Claire Lyons added, “The investment Irish Water is making in upgrading our wastewater plants around the country will improve the environment for all of us. However, it is really important that everyone thinks about the possible impact of what they flush. Items like wet wipes and cotton wool can prevent the network from working efficiently, as well as damaging the plumbing in our homes. Placing a bin in the bathroom and disposing of sanitary items safely will help to prevent pollution of our beaches and riverways.”

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SEAI ENERGY SHOW 2019

WILO IRELAND Product: Zetos K10 Borehole Pump he recent award recognition at the Energy Show for the huge saving potentials and material versatility of this borehole pump is a testament to the new design and research and development invested by Wilo SE as this has also been recognized with similar awards throughout the UK where the water authorities have embraced the new technology.

T

5 years ago Wilo SE had single digit market share of the borehole market in the UK and Ireland – since the redesign and product evolution – the market share has multiplied thanks to award winning material engineering and component rationalisation/optimisation. •

The new 10” pumps cover 10”, 12” and 40% of 14” applications – which saves water authorities time, money and removes unscheduled challenges.

The pump was designed to be ecologically advantageous in manufacture and operation taking advantage of new materials and manufacturing methods.

In manufacturing component optimisation has assisted in reducing machining time by 84%, reducing embedded carbon by 73%, whist simultaneously improving operational efficiency to 88% peak and 84% average.

Gives up to four times wear resistance compared to standard material designs, meaning high efficiencies are retained for longer.

Michael O’ Herlihy and Derek Elton of Wilo Ireland.

The K10, launched commercially in 2018 , provides: high efficiency, high corrosion resistance, high wear resistance, it's suitable for pumping drinking water and it offers easy maintenance with a simple system for the installation and dismantling of hydraulics. It is manufactured using an innovative new process called Precision Cast which has allowed Wilo to redefine hydraulic efficiency, reducing machining by 84% offering reduced embedded carbon, reduced manufacturing costs and shorter delivery times along with a lower list/sales price.

Contact: Michael O’ Herlihy National Sales Manager Wilo Ireland. Email: michael.oherlihy@wilo.com Tel: 01-4260000 Web: www.wilo.ie Product: Zetos K10 Borehole Pump

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New wastewater treatment plants for Coachford, Innishannon, Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera and Dripsey Existing wastewater infrastructure in these areas is overloaded and outdated Irish Water is delighted to announce the signing of a contract with EPS Group Ltd. for the delivery of four new wastewater treatment plants in Coachford, Innishannon, Ballyvourney/Ballymakeera and Dripsey.

Existing wastewater infrastructure in these areas is overloaded and outdated. This new project will provide new plants in each of the four areas, as well as additional associated infrastructure required to connect the new plants into the existing wastewater infrastructure in these villages. Irish Water will invest over €27 million in this project. On completion, the new infrastructure will improve wastewater treatment quality and capacity in each area. Once operational, the new plants will ensure compliance with wastewater discharge regulations. These projects will enhance the environment of thriving rural villages

“These projects will enhance the environment of thriving rural villages in County Cork and provide a platform for social and economic development into the future,” said Seamus Glynn, Regional Infrastructure Lead with Irish Water. “We look forward to working with the local communities to deliver these projects in conjunction with our partners Cork County Council and EPS Group Ltd. Wastewater treatment is mainly by septic tank in these villages at present and this technology is outdated and not meeting the required standards. We will be back in touch with local communities to give them plenty of notice before construction commences."

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Essential upgrade works are ongoing at Staleen Water Treatment Plant Works will safeguard the water supply for customers in South Louth and East Meath Irish Water would like to advise customers that essential upgrade works are scheduled to commence at Staleen Water Treatment Plant at 9am on Wednesday 22 May and are scheduled to be completed on Friday 24 May. During these essential upgrade works the production capacity at the plant will be slightly reduced. We do not anticipate any impact on water supply to homes and businesses in South Louth and East Meath during this time. The supply to customers will be supplemented by storage in the reservoirs for the duration of the necessary works. Urging customers to conserve water We are working closely with Louth and Meath County Councils to ensure that any potential impact on customers is minimised. We are encouraging customers to conserve water while these essential works are underway. We are urging customers to conserve water by; not running taps needlessly, taking showers instead of baths and to postpone using dishwashers and washing machines where possible. Works ongoing since September 2017 Works to upgrade the Staleen Water Treatment Plant have been ongoing since September 2017 and are scheduled to be completed in Q4 2019. The upgraded water treatment plant will ensure that the water supply is removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Remedial Action List (RAL) and will safeguard the water supply to homes and businesses served by the plant. Production capacity at the plant may be reduced We would like to advise customers that as the upgrade works are nearing completion there will be further instances, when the production capacity at the plant may be reduced to accommodate these essential works. We will provide notice in advance of any potential supply interruption associated with these upgrade works. Notice will be provided to all Louth and Meath media outlets and issued to elected representatives. Information will also be provided via our website and social media channels. Upgrade forms part of a wider investment The upgrade to the water treatment plant forms part of a wider investment of €19 million in the Drogheda, South Louth and East Meath Water Supply Scheme. This significant investment also included the construction of a new 2km pipeline to replace the watermain which burst twice in a year. We commenced works on the pipeline in April 2018 and it was completed in December 2018, minimising the risk of future bursts. The upgraded water treatment plant coupled with the new pipeline and other smaller projects that are being delivered will ensure the delivery of a safe, secure and reliable water supply to homes and businesses in Drogheda, South Louth and East Meath.

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State-of-the-art water supply scheme will bring big benefits to Thurles

Aerial shot of the site of the new Water Treatment Plant near Holycross

Construction work is progressing well on the new water treatment plant for Thurles and surrounding areas The new plant will ensure a safe, clean and reliable supply of water for the people and businesses of Thurles by providing state-of-the-art water treatment facilities. This will benefit the town and its surrounding areas by ensuring that the water supply infrastructure is in place to facilitate population growth and economic development. The new treatment plant and network will replace 10 existing water treatment plants The new treatment plant and network will replace 10 existing water treatment plants in the area. Due to their age and poor condition, these plants are vulnerable to water quality issues and are no longer fit for purpose. Lisa Cogan, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Lead “Developing a modern, fit-for-purpose water treatment and supply network is a top priority for Irish Water, enabling us to provide clean, safe drinking water for all our customers that is fully compliant with all drinking water parameters."

“Construction got underway towards the end of last year and we are very pleased with the progress to date. We expect the plant to be up and running by 2021. On completion this new plant will be capable of producing 8.6 million litres of treated water every day. We would like to thank the local community for their patience and support as we work to carry out this essential project with as little disruption as possible.” New water treatment plants in Killeenyarda and Holycross The construction work includes a new water treatment plant at Killeenyarda, Holycross; the installation of mechanical works at the new raw water intake and pumping station located on the River Clodiagh at Rathkeenan; and new water mains to connect the intake pumping station to the treatment plant. The project will also enable us to realise the benefits of the previous investment in the network and reservoir in the Thurles Regional Water Supply Scheme. Glan Agua Limited is delivering this project on our behalf.

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Donegal Oireachtas members updated about plans to improve the coastal waters around Moville

Raw sewage being discharged in Moville

Plans to develop much-needed wastewater infrastructure Irish Water had a positive meeting today with the Donegal Oireachtas members where they discussed the utility’s plans to develop much-needed wastewater infrastructure in Moville. At present Moville has no municipal wastewater treatment facilities and the discharge of untreated wastewater into the Bredagh River has seen it classified as being‘Seriously Polluted’ by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Untreated wastewater from Moville currently being discharged at five locations Untreated wastewater from Moville is currently being discharged into the Bredagh River and Lough Foyle at five locations polluting the beaches and coastline. Unsightly photos of sanitary waste have been captured on the coastline. A new wastewater treatment plant and collection system is needed to end this practice. The equivalent of approximately 2,800 wheelie bins of untreated wastewater is currently being discharged into Lough Foyle and the Bredagh River every day and we plan to build a wastewater treatment plant in Moville to ensure that untreated wastewater is no longer discharged in the river and lough. New plant will facilitate decommissioning of 15 temporary treatment plants The new plant will facilitate the decommissioning of more than 15 temporary treatment plants in housing developments in Moville and allow for applications to be made to connect them to the public sewer. It will stop ongoing pollution at local beaches; facilitate social and economic development and ensure compliance with national and EU regulations relating to the treatment and discharge of wastewater.

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Treatment plant will dramatically improve the water quality One of the concerns raised by the Oireachtas members at today’s meeting included the location of the outfall pipe. However, our representatives were able to dispel the myth that discharges from the new treatment plant would pollute the coastline and destroy the beaches. In fact, the opposite is true. The new treatment plant will dramatically improve the water quality along the coastline ensuring the beaches are protected from wastewater pollution. Another concern discussed was the issue of odours. We explained to Deputy McConalogue and Senator MacLochlainn that appropriate odour management will be provided. This will ensure that our staff do not have to work in a malodourous environment and that no odour nuisance is created locally. A third issue that we had the opportunity to discuss was the myth that the European Court of Justice ruled against the planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála. All complaints made were rejected by the court A case regarding the planning decision or any aspect of the scheme was not submitted to or heard by the European Court of Justice. A judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision was taken to the High Court by a member of the public. Judgement was delivered on 26 August 2013. The Court rejected all of the complaints made. The Court upheld An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission, stating that the evidence“overwhelmingly demonstrates that the sooner this project commences the better. It is a great pity it has been delayed so long.” The planning permission granted for the scheme is still valid along with the CPO which was confirmed by An Bord Pleanála. Both Oireachtas members expressed their disappointment at Greencastle not being included in the current scope of the project. We advised that Moville is currently one of the highest priority schemes due to the ongoing discharge of untreated wastewater from the public sewerage system. The current design will enable the connection of Greencastle at a future date. Colm Claffey, Irish Water

“Today’s meeting provided us with a fantastic opportunity to meet with Donegal’s Oireachtas members and discuss in an open environment their concerns and hear their submissions. We were delighted to be able to clarify some misinformation that had been circulating and to impress on them the absolute need for this essential infrastructure to protect the beaches in Moville and dramatically improve the quality of bathing water." “We look forward to progressing with the project and delivering a state of the art wastewater treatment plant for the people of Moville.” The untreated wastewater is polluting the River Bredagh and Lough Foyle The discharge of untreated wastewater is polluting the River Bredagh and Lough Foyle, and detracts from the amenity value of the river and the coastal waters around Moville. The new sewerage scheme will bring benefits to the area in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all. Cleaner water will enhance Moville’s amenity value and act as a platform for social, economic and population development. The project will also ensure that the water quality standards set down by regulatory bodies will be achieved. “Irish Water will continue to engage with the local community over the course of the project’s development. We would like to thank those who attended our first information evening and acknowledge the widespread support we received for this project on the night. We look forward to meeting with the local elected representatives and others next month,” added Colm.

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Sod turned for Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme Contract 2A

Project will support future population and economic growth in Newbridge Irish Water, working in partnership with Kildare County Council, marked the beginning of works on the Upper Liffey Valley Sewerage Scheme Contract 2A at a sod-turning event in Newbridge. The project will support future population and economic growth in Newbridge and the surrounding areas.

Project includes the construction of a new interceptor sewer The investment will also ensure that wastewater is treated and discharged in compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001, ensure compliance with conditions set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence and help Ireland avoid substantial EU penalties. The €30 million project includes the construction of a new interceptor sewer to connect Newbridge to the Osberstown Wastewater Treatment Plant which will facilitate increased flow to the treatment plant. The project is needed as the current wastewater infrastructure is unable to support the needs of the area and it is not compliant with Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001 and conditions as set out in the EPA’s Wastewater Discharge Licence.

Councillor Sean Power, Mayor of Kildare County Council “I’m delighted to be here to witness the start of works on this vital project. Here in Newbridge and the surrounding areas, we have seen massive development and growth in recent decades. This development has put strain on the vital infrastructure that supports homes and businesses every day. To enable future growth in the area, significant upgrades are required. This project will safeguard the wastewater system, and ensure there is capacity for future growth in Newbridge and the surrounding areas.”

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Deputy Martin Heydon “This Government has long recognised the need to invest in our water and wastewater infrastructure and is committed to providing funding to Irish Water to enable the national utility to deliver on the critical projects, like this one, that are so badly needed. We are addressing and achieving success by delivering on our promise to invest and upgrade our water and wastewater infrastructure bringing it in line with international standards. This investment is needed to provide Newbridge with the infrastructure to support the building of houses, schools, attract new industry and allow the companies we have to expand and grow.”

Michael Tinsley, Infrastructure Portfolio Delivery Manager “Our long–term plan is to support people’s daily lives through the delivery of essential water and wastewater services. Projects such as this one are an example of how we are delivering on that promise. The size and scale of the challenge facing Irish Water shouldn’t be underestimated. Nor should the significant progress the company has made to date. Investing in our water and wastewater infrastructure will ensure we provide and maintain the strong foundations on which the Irish economy is built, so Ireland can continue to grow our economy by supporting economic development now and into the future.”

World class water analysis laboratory planned for Limerick As part of the development of Scientific Services within Irish Water, the utility is submitting a planning application for a world class facility for water analysis in Limerick. The new national laboratory will offer a substantial benefit to the local and regional economy with the employment of 90 staff by 2023 and excellent career opportunities to scientific and technical graduates and professionals.

Sampling On as yearly basis the new laboratory will receive 250,000 water and wastewater samples from across the country and undertake 1.5 million tests as well as testing river and lake water quality. This laboratory will enhance Irish Water’s work in protecting the public health of our customers by ensuring the delivery of clean, safe drinking water through rigorous analysis.

Facility This facility will house state of the art equipment for microbiological and chemical analysis which will be accredited to international quality standards. It is designed with a focus on swift customer service, energy efficiency and staff welfare.

Selection Irish Water selected Limerick as the site for this national laboratory for a range of reasons including the quality of its third level institutions; a reputation as a centre for advanced tech industry; and its accessibility by road, rail and air. Limerick also offers an attractive location in the Mid West of Ireland for people choosing to take up a career with Irish Water.

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Giving Ireland a Sustainable Future Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown launches The Government has published the Climate Action Plan, led by Minister Richard Bruton, to give Irish people a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future. The far-reaching plan sets out over 180 actions, together with hundreds of sub-actions, that need to be taken at a time when the warning signs are growing, and the time for taking action is rapidly reducing. At a time when we should be radically reducing our reliance on carbon, Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions have been rising rapidly. We are currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels. We have a short window of opportunity to reverse this trend and secure a better, healthier, more resilient future for the country. This means changing the way we heat our homes, the way we travel and the way we power our country. This plan identifies how Ireland will achieve its 2030 targets for carbon emissions, and puts us on a trajectory to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It uses the same model as the Action Plan for Jobs, which was also spear-headed by Minister Richard Bruton and was instrumental in restoring Ireland's economy. The Plan embraces every relevant sector: electricity, enterprise, housing, heating, transport,, agriculture, waste, and the public sector. It's ambitious but realistic and will: • Eliminate non-recyclable plastic and impose higher fees on the production of materials which are difficult to recycle, implement measures to ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds • Establish a new Microgeneration Scheme, allowing homeowners to generate their own electricity and sell what they don't use back to the national grid; • Move to 70% renewable electricity by 2030, currently only 30% of our electricity comes from renewable sources; • Bring 950,000 electric vehicles onto our roads, deliver a nationwide charging network, an electric vehicle scrappage scheme and legislation to ban the sale of petrol / diesel cars from 2030; • Expand our network of cycling paths and "Park and Ride" facilities,helping ease congestion; • Deliver an intensive programme of retrofitting to install 400,000 heat pumps in homes and businesses, replacing the existing carbon-intensive heating systems; • Establish a system of 5 year carbon budgets and sector targets, with the relevant Minister responsible for delivering on the target, with penalities if they are not met. These targets will be underpinned by a new Climate Action Act. All major government investments and decisions will be carbon-proofed;

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Deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture by creating new, sustainable opportunities for family farms Deliver a new Retrofit Plan to retrofit 500,000 homes, with large groups of houses being retrofitted by the same contractor to reduce costs, smart finance, and easy pay back methods; Every public body will be given a climate action mandate by their line Minister to prioritise climate action and new letters of expectation will issue to semi-state bodies on Climate Action.

The plan also includes actions to ensure that all of us as citizens become engaged and mobilised to take climate action, while ensuring that the necessary societal and economic transition that we have to make is fair, both in Ireland and globally. The Climate Action Plan, like the Action Plan for Jobs, will be annually updated, with actions reported on quarterly. The government today also approved the establishment of the Climate Action Delivery Board to ensure that the delivery of the plan is overseen by the Taoiseach's office. Failure to implement these policies to meet our legally binding EU targets could result in a cost to the Exchequer of up to €1.75 billion over the next decade as well as locking Ireland into a future high carbon trajectory. An Taoiseach said: "The greatest responsibility we have is to pass on our planet to the next generation in a better condition than we inherited it. With this Plan we are making changes now, before it is too late, to ensure we do exactly that. "We recognise that Government doesn't have all the answers. So we will work with people, industry and communities to chart the best and most inclusive way forward. A way forward that is both effective and sensible. One that achieves our targets, and in a way that is thought through and considered, supports employment and living standards and enables a just transition.

"Our approach will be to nudge people and businesses to change behaviour and adapt new technologies through incentives, disincentives, regulations and information. Our objective, as we plan for the future, is to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. This Plan represents the sum of our hopes for the future. Our call to action in the fight to save our planet." Minister Bruton said, "Every generation wants to leave the world in a better place than they found it for their children. We have a short window of opportunity to act. We must act now and leave a better, healthier, more sustainable Ireland for future generations. This Plan provides our way forward.

"We are currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels. This Plan sets out radical reforms, which will cut our reliance on carbon, making our businesses more competitive, our homes more sustainable and our farms more efficient. We will be doing things in new, innovative ways. Most of the actions set out will actually save money in the long-run. We will now implement this Plan, rolling out the required actions through a sustained effort. "This is a life changing journey and it is a rapid, transformative adjustment that is required. Nothing less will do. We must all now take up the challenge." The Government Climate Plan to tackle climate breakdown has been informed by the work of the Citizens Assembly and the work of the All Party Committee on Climate Action, chaired by Hildegarde Naughton. The Climate Action Plan puts us on a trajectory to meet our 2030 target for carbon emissions, which is consistent with achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan commits to evaluating in detail the changes required to adopt a more ambitious commitment of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In the new Climate Action Act, we will include a 2050 target in law.

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Profile for Giltron

Local Authority News Vol. 38 No. 2  

Giving Ireland a Sustainable Future - Promoting a project management Culture in a Local Authority context - Contract awarded for N/M20 C...

Local Authority News Vol. 38 No. 2  

Giving Ireland a Sustainable Future - Promoting a project management Culture in a Local Authority context - Contract awarded for N/M20 C...

Profile for giltron