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Ireland's Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Wicklow-East Carlow TD Andrew Doyle has paid a surprise visit to the recently upgraded Dunlavin wastewater treatment plant in his Wicklow constituency.

jacopa irish ministermainWastewater treatment systems and solutions experts Jacopa, undertook the Dunlavin Sewerage Scheme, Contract No. 1- Milltown Treatment Plant and Associated Works in a joint venture with civil engineering consultancy GEDA and client consultant RPS. The Jacopa / GEDA joint venture now operates the site and a somewhat surprised Jacopa site operative Emanuel (Manny) Byrne welcomed the Minister and showed him round the much-extended plant.

Mr Doyle said: "I was very impressed by the work that has been undertaken, this is a great example of the way in which a wastewater treatment plant can be both an asset to the local community and well integrated into its local environmental setting."

"County Wicklow is justly known as the 'Garden of Ireland', and offers a wide range of unique and beautiful landscapes that we must preserve for posterity. Ensuring that such developments are sensitive to the needs both of local people and the environment they live in is a key part of this vital obligation."

The state-of-the-art site has been designed to ensure minimal impact on the local area and to eliminate potential visual and odour issues. The treatment works, which takes flows from nearby Dunlavin village, offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment that far exceeds the exacting discharge requirements before the crystal clear, highly-treated final effluent is discharged, by pumped transfer some 4.4 km to a local river at Colbinstown, where it contributes beneficially to environmental flows.

In a joint statement, Jacopa Managing Director Alex Lloyd and GEDA Partner John Coalter said: "We were delighted that the Minister chose to visit Dunlavin, we are committed to ensuring that our projects offer the best possible solutions for our clients, local people and the local environment, and being able to demonstrate our work in action to the Minister was a great honour."