Wetlands Created

VESI are the pioneers of Integrated Constructed Wetlands and their development across Ireland & Europe

We've collaborated with local authorities & organisations achieve their wastewater management targets

Case Studies

Working together, we've successfully developed aesthetically pleasing, biodiverse environments that exceed wastewater output targets.

Click to see some of the beautiful habitats we have created.

Irish Water / Waterford City & County Council - Dunhill ICW


Dunhill Integrated Constructed Wetland

The village of Dunhill in Co. Waterford is the origin of the Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) concept. Initially developed in the 1990s for the treatment of  farmyard wastewaters (roof and yard runoff), the ICW approach was subsequently applied to municipal wastewater treatment, with a focus on delivering a wider range of ecosystem services: biodiversity, landscape fit, public amenities and optimal land-use.

The original Dunhill village ICW was  built in 1999/2000 for an approximate  population of 100 residents. Following the increase in the village population (500), the ICW was extended in 2012 by Waterford County  Council with funding  from  the  Department  of  Environment, Community and Local Government.

Today it treats all the storm and waste waters from Dunhill Village. It now serves as a popular amenity and recreational area, hosting educational groups and café amenities. It has grown from strength to strength with fantastic public and local engagement.

The Dunhill ICW is linked with the Anne Valley Project, whose key objective is to improve the valley’s various habitats towards delivering a range of social and environmental benefits.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council - Kilbogget Park

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

Kilbogget Park ICW

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council sought about improving the quality of the Deansgrange Stream, which was being impacted upon by misconnections in upstream pipe networks and direct pollution.

In 2008 a 600m stretch of the stream in Kilbogget Park was developed applying the Integrated Constructed Wetland approach. The development included the creation of a series of wetlands and ponds within the stream to improve water quality and to enhance the habitat and amenity value of the site.

A recent survey of the local residents associations showed that the level of pride and ownership of the park has increased dramatically since the ICW was installed. An increase in wildlife has attracted a number of visitors while safe access to shallow water provides amenity for both adults and children.

Dublin City Council - Tolka Valley Park

Dublin City Council

Tolka Valley Integrated Constructed Wetland

An ICW was developed in 1999 by Dublin City Council with in the Fingalswood Stream in Tolka Valley Park. The ICW located alongside the Tolka River has provided flood attenuation, amenity, increased biodiversity and habitat value.

Dublin City Council commissioned a biodiversity survey of the ICW in June 2008 which concluded that “The establishment of the ICW at Tolka Valley Park is an excellent example of how... biodiversity can be harnessed for the benefit of people in this case transforming a foetid quagmire (neglected stream) into a water purification unit with amenity value”.

The incidents of social misbehaviour has also noticeably decreased in the site since the development of the ICW.

Monaghan County Council - Glaslough

Monaghan County Council

Glaslough Integrated Constructed Wetland

Monaghan County Council constructed a 6.7 ha ICW in 2007 for the village of Glaslough. The ICW, located within the grounds of the Castle Leslie Estate, currently serves the village population of 1400 P.E, while also providing an area of amenity for the tourist based Estate.

The performance of the ICW at Glaslough is monitored regularly and removal efficiencies are high prior to discharge to the Mountain Water Stream.

Castle Leslie Estate view the ICW as “a contrast to traditional sewerage treatment works, which are designed to be cut-off from the public and wildlife.” They also see it as a concept that enhances the “water based theme inherent in the name “Glaslough”.”The ICW has been integrated as an amenity area that can be “enjoyed by guests of the estate and the equestrian centre.”

Laois County Council - Clonaslee ICW

Laois County Council

Clonaslee Integrated Wetland

An Integrated Constructed Wetland developed in 2012 for the village of Clonaslee, by Laois County Council. Now operated by Irish Water this ICW serves as a wastewater treatment facility for the 1200 population.

It’s proximity to the village, it’s location within the countryside and it’s access routes around the 5 cell/5 ha ICW system provides the local community and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the site for it’s recreational and biodiversity values.

Northern Ireland Water / Stoneyford ICW

Northern Ireland Water / Stoneyford ICW

Stoneyford Integrated Wetland

This Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) is  operated  to  treat  sewage  and  storm  water  flows  from  the  village  of  Stoneyford.  It  has  been  designed  to  serve  a  population  of  952. 

The  original  wastewater   treatment   works   at   Stoneyford   had   become   overloaded   as   population increased in the catchment area. In 2012, Northern Ireland Water set about upgrading the existing wastewater treatment plant to provide a system with increased capacity for the larger and growing population and to comply with Northern Ireland Environment Agency licensing requirements.

ICWs had already  been  developed  in  the  Republic  of  Ireland  for  municipal  wastewater  and  with  positive  performances  from  these  systems  Northern  Ireland  Water  took Stoneyford as their 'pilot' ICW project.

This  ICW  is  comprised  of  a  series  of  2  No.  Settlement  ponds  and  5  No.  Treatment  ponds,  covering  a  treatment/functional  area  of  c.  40,000m2.  Wastewater  and  storm  water  flows  are  collected  in  the  newly  upgraded  pumping station located to the west of the village, is screened and pumped to the  ICW  for  treatment.  Water  flows  by  gravity  through  the  ICW  before  discharging to the Stoneyford River.

How can an ICW be a benefit for municipal water treatment?

Key benefits of ICW Include:

Control storm water surges

As an environmental means of cleaning your wastewater, an ICW is also able to adjust with changes to population – including the ability to handle shock loads from extreme weather events.

Create educational and eco-tourist benefits

ICW amenity possibilities are many. In supporting a sustainable ecological diverse habitat, it lends itself through the embankment pathways for visitors to engage with the surrounding nature.

Contact with nature is generally lacking in our busy day-to-day lives: ICWs are a source of inspiration, that have values enhancing ecotourism, mental health and pride of place for the community.

They promote opportunities for formal and informal education, helping to promote awareness of water and associated aquatic life.

Lost aquatic habitats are in abundance and are re-established in ICWs in an exemplary manner in which to experience and learn about them.

One can pause and let nature surround you!

Entice wildlife and create new habitats

The ecological diversity that ICWs provide are unparalleled in the context of habitat creation – both aquatic and terrestrial.

The large ecotone areas created at embankment and surface water furthers both flora and fauna. Considering such habitat interfaces are one of the most heavily removed landscapes and biotypes in Ireland, it is a significant contribution. Complex microbial activity is the primary treatment process of the wastewater, these are supported by the dense vegetation in the wetland cells, all of which are native.

This natural process feeds into the lifecycle supporting microscopic/macro aquatic life which in turn support avian and mammalian species. This biodiversity includes macroinvertebrates (Dragonfly, Damselfly, Diving Beetles, Stoneflies, Caddisflies, etc), amphibians (Frogs and Newts), birdlife (Heron, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Swan) and even larger terrestrial mammals such as Deer.

ICW systems have been shown to support >60% of all known aquatic beetle species known in Ireland. ICWs are a prime example of how a wetland supports a biodiverse habitat, all while treating the wastewater from our everyday lives.

Take a butterfly or bee walk around one of the many  ICWs and link with the All Ireland Pollinator Plan. You would be amazed with the abundance you will find.

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