Project outline

The Louth Water Supply Scheme is a Design, Build and Operate (DBO) project, involving upgrades to the existing Staleen and Cavanhill water treatment systems. The Staleen water treatment plant (WTP) and its associated pumping station at Roughgrange are located just outside Donore village on the Louth/Meath border. The Cavanhill WTP and Stephenstown pumping station lie 8km southwest of Dundalk town.

The current scheme aims to improve the water quality to meet current drinking water regulations; enhance the coagulation treatment process; comply with Irish Water protozoa log credit requirements; facilitate efficient plant operation regarding energy and chemical usage; and carry out solid and liquid WTP residuals treatment. Works began in October 2017 and are scheduled for completion in April 2019.

Key challenges

The Louth Water Supply Scheme has posed a number of interesting challenges, not least ensuring the ongoing supply of drinking water to the local community from the existing WTP, while continuing works on site for the new facility.

Working in a small, rural community, factors such as noise, dust and vibration could easily become an issue. We have a proactive approach towards working with local residents and in this case, significant steps have been taken to reduce truck movements on the narrow access road by making a sustainable arrangement to retain much of the waste material on site and minimise the carbon footprint of the project.

Operating close to the Boyne Valley archaeological complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was a significant challenge. It was essential for the project to ensure that the necessary archaeological monitoring and any associated mitigation was carried out to best professional practise. Murphy have been fully cooperative and supportive with respect to archaeological works throughout the project.

An unexpected challenge was encountered in January 2018, when a failure within the existing water system (unrelated to the current project) was given to us to resolve. Our solution involved the urgent installation of an additional 2.5km of 600mm ductile iron pipe in order to secure water supply to the local community. This critical work, along with the existing scope requirements for that phase of the project, were delivered within the original programme timescale. 

Project delivery and innovations

The Staleen facility, originally constructed in 1974, provides drinking water for Drogheda and East Meath. It comprises an abstraction from the River Boyne, a raw water pumping station at Roughgrange, a treatment works at Staleen and storage reservoirs at Donore. Following an upgrade to the system in 1986, the facility currently has a treatment capacity of 31,500m³/day, 5,450m³ raw water storage and 6,179m³ treated water storage.

The Cavanhill facility provides water for Dundalk and has been operational since 1991. It comprises headworks at Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, a treatment plant at Cavanhill and an abstraction intake from the Fane River at the Stephenstown pumping station. The facility processes 36,400m³/day, includes a 7,500m³ raw water balance tank and a storage capacity of 37,500m³.

Works on both sites consist of the assessment, design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a range of mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation equipment. This will also be applied to control panels, pipework and associated equipment, including new sludge pressing technology. New raw water pumps will be provided at Stephenstown, while at Roughgrange high lift pumps will be installed. Works will be carried out by making changes to the existing site installation, pipework and rising mains.

Key facts

The current scheme aims to:

  • Improve water quality in compliance with current drinking water regulations
  • Implement an enhanced coagulation treatment process to limit trihalomethane (THM) formation potential
  • Comply with Irish Water protozoa log credit requirements
  • Facilitate efficient plant operation in respect to energy and chemical usage
  • Carry out solid and liquid water treatment plant residuals treatment

Related projects

Louth Water Supply Scheme.

Water and Wastewater

We are industry leaders in providing innovative solutions to municipal and industrial clients in the water and wastewater sector. We deliver robust, sustainable, end-to-end solutions that deliver safe drinking water to customers across Ireland and the UK. Our in-house capabilities include the design, build and operatation of a range of solutions for the water and wastewater sector.

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