Atkins Ireland has won the award for Engineering Project of the Year 2017 for Mutton Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (WwTP) Upgrade at the Irish Building and Design Awards ceremony.

Brian McKavanagh, Associate Director Atkins, said ‘We are delighted to win this award, it is result of great collaboration between the team involved which was made up of Irish Water, Galway City Council and a Joint Venture between Aecom Design Build Ireland (now Murphy’s International) and SIAC Construction. Atkins acted as Client’s Representative from performance design and specification, through construction, commissioning and handover. It is an exemplar of how a municipal wastewater facility can be upgraded safely, sustainably, within budget and with no loss of service. The upgraded facility has a reduced carbon footprint, lower environmental impact, increased operator safety and lower operational cost.’

Following rapid population growth in recent years Atkins was appointed as Client’s Engineer to design and deliver a major upgrade to the existing Mutton Island Treatment Plant. The existing plant covered the entire Mutton Island with the exception of a small area given over to a lighthouse. Mutton Island which is accessed via a 1.2km causeway lies within the Galway Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

The upgrade was required to increase the capacity of the plant from a population equivalent of 91,600 to a population equivalent of 170,000. In addition the upgraded plant had to maintain the strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emission Limit Values (ELVs).

The Mutton Island Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade works were carried out within an extremely constrained footprint, below sea level on an operational facility and without a single unauthorised spillage of raw sewage to the adjacent Blue Flag beach of Salthill.

Michael Tinsley, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Portfolio Delivery Manager commented: ‘We would like to congratulate Atkins Ireland on winning this prestigious award against very stiff competition. The Mutton Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is a very important piece of infrastructure for Galway City. As a result of the €5.7 million investment by Irish Water in the upgrade of the plant, the plant now enjoys increased capacity from 91,600 population equivalent to 170,000 PE.

This upgrade was necessary to ensure population growth in Galway City can be achieved while at the same continuing to protect bathing water quality. The newly upgraded plant is also providing significant operational savings through the careful management of energy usage on site.’

The project performance targets set by Atkins included construction and operation safety, reduction of operational costs, reduction of energy usage, reduction of carbon footprint and continued compliance with the ELVs stipulated by the EPA. All of the performance targets were met and the plant is now operating at double the capacity and in compliance with the EPA requirements.

Justin Norman, Director, said ‘This Mutton Island WwTP is both an innovative and sustainable project. It is a clear example of an economic operator minimising environmental impact without economic trade-off. The re-use of the methane results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions whilst providing energy savings of up to €12,000 per month.’

Client: Galway County Council
Status: Complete