T J O’Connor & Associates were appointed by Offaly County Council to prepare a preliminary report and Environmental Impact Statement in respect of the proposed expansion and upgrading of the Waste Water Treatment Plant at Tullamore. The preliminary report, completed in 2004, proposed expansion of the plant to 45,000 PE and the construction of a county sludge hub-centre for 80,000 PE. Approval and funding for the scheme was secured with the preparation of a preliminary report in line with DoEHLG requirements/guidelines. A number of ancilliary reports were also prepared in connection with the scheme including polluter pays reports, a public sector benchmark report, procurement options appraisal, etc. Planning for the scheme was obtained under the 2001 Planning and Development Regulations via two separate Environmental Impact Statements. The EISs had to have regard to the proximity of a number of protected (SAC & NHA) sites to the works and were subsequently certified by An Bord Pleanála.
The second of the EISs proposed the construction of a 3.5 km outfall pipeline to take a proportion of the treated effluent from the plant to a nearby river (the Clodiagh) and, thereby, to avail of an increased level of dilution. Approval for the outfall required additional studies and consultations with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to facilitate construction through a protected site. This EIS was approved by An Bord Pleanála in May 2008.
The works proposed include the construction of new large diameter inlet sewers to the works, one of which is constructed under the bed of the Tullamore River, the construction of a new inlet pumping station, a sludge digestion and thermal drying facility, an imported sludge acceptance plant and waste water treatment to a tertiary standard in line with the EIS. Sludge treatment to a class 'A' standard was proposed to allow for the beneficial re-use of the sludge as a replacement agricultural fertiliser. Odour abatement measures to be provided include covering of primary settlement tanks and the collection and treatment of exhaust air from various odour producing points around the site.
T. J. O’Connor & Associates role also included pre-qualification of contractors, sample design, tendering of works, report and recommendation on tenderers. Short-listing of potential DBO contractors was completed in 2008 and tenders were issued later that year. The contract was awarded in May 2010 under the FIDIC Orange book as a DBO contract. Construction is currently ongoing with an expected plant commissioning and completion date of July 2012.
2004 – Ongoing
Consulting Engineers and Client’s Representative
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