Irish Water sludge management project wins at UK Water Industry Awards

Irish Water’s Kilkenny Sludge Project has been recognised at the prestigious Water Industry Awards, which recognises excellence in the water industry across the UK and Ireland.

The Kilkenny Project was awarded Asset Optimisation Initiative of the Year at a recent digital award ceremony. A further Irish Water project, the Decking, Grating and Plate-Covering Initiative, was also shortlisted in the Health and Safety category.

The Kilkenny Sludge Project involved taking a combined approach to sludge management across the Troyswood Water Treatment Plant and the Purcellsinch Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project has resulted in financial savings of over €140,000 per annum, as well as significantly reducing energy consumption, chemical use and the amount of sludge going to landfill.  The project was a result of collaboration between Irish Water’s Process Optimisation and Regional Operations teams and Kilkenny County Council.

The sludge from the Water Treatment Plant, which heretofore had been dewatered and transported to landfill, was instead thickened and tankered to the wastewater treatment plant, where it was blended with the influent.

The very significant costs, which had previously been incurred for sludge dewatering and landfill from the water treatment plant were eliminated. It has been proven through the project that water sludge has a beneficial use in the reduction of phosphorus when it is added to wastewater and results, in turn, in the reduction of the use of chemicals for this purpose giving a financial and environmentally sustainable benefit.

The ‘Decking, Grating and Plate-Covering initiative is designed to identify defects with decking, grating and plate coverings and ensure it is safe and fit purpose across Irish Water assets. The initiative included the development of a guidance document and the establishment of a robust inspection regime which identified defects in a structured manner and put in place measures to ensure the asset class was safe and fit for purpose. This has ensured the safety of Irish Water personnel as they access and egress assets.

John Keane, Operational Planning and Emergency Manager with Irish Water, says: “Irish Water is delighted to have received recognition for its work in the areas of Process Optimisation and Health & Safety at the recent UK Water Industry Awards. To come away with a win, receiving the award for the Asset Optimisation Initiative of the Year is amazing. This award is a worthy reward for all the hard work and innovation our Teams are putting in on a daily basis to deliver business efficiencies.”

The Water Industry Awards recognise excellence in innovation, best practice and customer service across UK and Irish water companies and their supply chain. While the awards are in their fourteenth year, Irish Water is the first winner of the Asset Optimisation Initiative of the Year category.