Project outline

Murphy completed the construction of a new water treatment plant at Leixlip Co. Kildare, in addition to extensive upgrading of the existing plant and an ‘integration’ package to bring both plants under a single operating system.

The project brief was to provide additional capacity of 80ml per day, taking the total capacity to just over 250ml per day, enough to provide approximately 30 per cent of all the drinking water needs of the Greater Dublin area. Work had to be completed without any disruption to the operation of the existing plant, a significant challenge as the water intake capacity had to be more than doubled.

A new intake pumping station was constructed to allow the existing raw water supply to feed both the existing and new plants. New, higher capacity screens were installed in the River Liffey using a process developed by Murphy to ensure no disruption to drinking water supplies.

Following completion of the new plant, integration works were undertaken to combine the operations of the two plants and all staff were trained on the new, site-wide System Control Acquisition of Data Analysis (SCADA) system.

Murphy led the multi-disciplinary team, integrating the civil design and construction, and the installation and integration of new and upgraded facilities. This included liaising with Irish Water, Fingal County Council and the Irish Fisheries Department. The project was completed on time and on budget despite the constraints of operating in a river and reservoir environment with extensive public access and leisure use.

Key challenges

Continued, uninterrupted operation of the existing plant, whilst new facilities were built nearby, was an imperative in order that drinking water supplies were not interrupted.

The new construction works had to be completed prior to the existing plant being upgraded and finally the operation of both plants was integrated to operate as a single entity. Works included:

  • New inlet pumping capacity of up to 120ml/day with a 4 duty/2 standby arrangement to guarantee uninterrupted supply at the design capacity of 80ml/day
  • A new 12m litre capacity, twin-cell “clearwater” storage tank.
  • A new dosing system to provide 100% On Site Electrolytic Chlorination
  • New Passive Intake Drum screens to provide raw water extraction rates of up to 255ml/day
  • A new stainless steel conveyor system designed by Murphy Process Engineering to manage the output from both existing and new plants
  • A new infiltration pond to allow recycling of rainwater captured on site and “grey” water recovered from on-site operations.
  • A new SCADA installed across both sites to integrate operation. All existing staff trained by Murphy on the new system
  • Hands-on logistics management during construction to minimise any impact on public use of the river and reservoir
  • Environmental works to minimise the visual intrusion of the plant after construction
Project delivery and innovations

The contract was completed under the Public Works Conditions of Contract and there were no contractual disputes at any time. The project was completed on time and on budget.

Careful planning of site and delivery logistics meant there was minimal disruption to public enjoyment of the river and reservoir environment throughout the project.

MPE designed the new sludge handling conveyor system in stainless steel for maximum reliability and, to date, it has operated without failure.

The replacement of the drum screens had to be completed in such a way as to not cause any interruption to drinking water supplies. Murphy designed and programmed the installation in conjunction with the client and appropriate statutory bodies, completing the work as planned so that intake water supply was restricted for the minimum amount of time.

Key facts
  • No interruption to drinking water supplies in the area during construction
  • 46% increase in capacity with increased reliability
  • Increased use of recycled grey water
  • No contract disputes
  • 335,000 man-hours of work with no accidents or RIDDOR incidents on site
  • Extensive collaboration between client, design team, specialist suppliers and Murphy to deliver on time and on budget

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