Irish Water working in partnership with the Galway City Council has commenced remedial works at the Long Walk which will improve water quality in the area, provide environmental benefits, and reduce the presence of wet wipes along the River Corrib.
The works are being implemented following extensive surveying works which were carried out in 2020 and will be completed in adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
When completed, the works will help reduce the volume of wipes discharged into the river during storm water overflow events and will tackle tidal infiltration into the Long Walk Chamber.
Anthony Skeffington, regional asset operations lead for Irish Water explained: “The Long Walk wastewater network chamber consists of an entry pipe into a concrete chamber with twin pipes exiting the structure and crossing the River Corrib and out to Mutton Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“The chamber contains weir plates which are designed to retain the solids in the event of an overflow to the river when heavy rainfall occurs. The purpose of the overflow facility is to prevent surcharging of sewage upstream and causing damage to properties. All foul sewage from the east side of the city flows through this structure on Long Walk.
“These works, which are subject to Covid-19 restrictions, are programmed to be completed in September 2021 and will strengthen the chamber’s ability to retain solids following heavy rainfall and ensure only a very dilute effluent is discharged, in line with the EPA licence. The works will also reduce tidal infiltration into the chamber and seek to reduce the amount of wet wipes visible along the river bank.
“An event monitor will also be installed in the chamber which will inform Irish Water of the frequency and duration of overflow events.”
A number of initiatives are being rolled out this year in Galway city in an effort to encourage the public to dispose of wipes in a responsible manner and to never flush wipes down the toilet.
Mr Skeffington said: “Irish Water and our partners Galway City Council are playing our part to reduce the amount of wipes visible along the River Corrib and on local beaches. But the public can play their part too.
He concluded: “Wet wipes would not appear on our beautiful beaches if they were not flushed down the toilet in the first place. We are appealing to the public to dispose of wipes in a bin and be happy in the knowledge that they are playing their part in protecting the local environment.”