Posted: Wednesday 29th February 2012

The Portlaoise Main Drainage scheme in County Laois, Ireland, has been voted Environmental Infrastructure Project of the Year in the 2011 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.

The multi-million euro project comprised a new collection system, upgraded wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and sludge treatment facility for the town of Portlaoise and the wider county. The scheme was delivered by RPS (consulting engineers), Murphy International (contractor for the new network) and an Aecom – Bowen JV (for the wastewater treatment plant) for Laois County Council.

Engineers Ireland is the voice of the engineering profession and the awards showcase engineering excellence across Ireland. The Environmental Infrastructure Project of the Year aims to single out an outstanding project in terms of value for money, treatment performance and waste prevention.

Murphy International, a subsidiary of J. Murphy & Sons Limited, was responsible for more than 17km of pipeline construction to connect the facilities and transport media for treatment, utilising rock blasting techniques in certain areas due to the ground conditions.

Commenting on the award win, William Byrne, Director, Murphy International, says: “The completion of the scheme has brought significant environmental benefits for the town of Portlaoise and the wider community with the connection of properties to the sewer network for the first time. The use of gravity sewers rather than an over reliance on pumping stations has reduced energy consumption and CO² emissions, whilst trenchless rehabilitation techniques were used resulting in reduced material usage for 5km of sewers, minimising disruption to the local community.”

He continues: “Improvements in water quality and the local environment was also achieved, particularly water quality in the Triogue River, which has allowed aquatic life to return and has provided enhanced protection to the River Barrow downstream, a major source of drinking water.

“Acknowledgement of the hard work put in by the entire project team to complete this scheme by Engineers Ireland is extremely rewarding.”

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