Carlow Sludge Drying Reed Beds

Sludge Drying Reed Beds (SDRB) is an environmentally friendly programme designed to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. The Carlow SDRBs were delivered by Glan Agua on behalf of Irish water and Carlow County Council, in collaboration with Wild Goose Environmental Ltd. The project was completed as a pilot project which included 5 sites in total (Clonegal, Myshall, Fenagh, Ballon and Raheendoran.

SDRBs are based on a natural treatment process and is a sustainable long term solution for the treatment of wastewater sludge. The daily operation and maintenance of the systems are minimal, only requiring the beds to be emptied once every ten years. SDRBs reduce transport movements and emissions, while reducing costs associated with the treatment process.


  • Significantly reduce energy consumptions and carbon emissions associated with the traditional wastewater treatment process. This will result in an energy reduction of up to 35,381 KWh per year and reducing carbon emissions by up to 15 tonnes
  • Result in a reduction of over 250 tanker loads per year from the facilities, which will result in a reduction in emissions of over 34 tonnes of carbon the lifetime of the SDRB
  • Reduced operation and maintenance costs due to on-site treatment and reed beds are only required to be emptied once every 10 years.
  • Creation of sustainable, biodegraded, chemical-free fertiliser which can be directly applied to the land and reduce the burden on landfills
  • Enhance biodiversity at the sites through habitat creation
  • Reed beds also act as natural carbon sequester, removing carbon from the atmosphere
  • Eliminate the need for chemicals to be added to the treatment process
  • Eliminate odour issues associated with outdated treatment systems at the plants
  • Ensure compliance with Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations 2001


Irish Water


December 10, 2010