Another major milestone achieved in upgrade of Athlone Water Treatment Plant

02 June 2022

Set in the geographical heartland of Ireland, Athlone is the cultural and commercial centre of the lake county of Westmeath. Crucial to the continued development of Athlone is the need for a robust and reliable water supply for a growing population and a town that has seen rapid development in recent years.

Supporting the development of Athlone with a safe, secure, and sustainable water supply continues to be a top priority for Irish Water. Irish Water working in partnership with Westmeath County Council is delighted to announce another critical milestone in the upgrade of Athlone Water Treatment Plant with upgrades to all four sedimentation tanks now completed.

The sedimentation tanks, which form an essential part of the water treatment process, had begun to fail due to their age and urgently required refurbishment. The upgraded sedimentation tanks will cater for future demand while avoiding the need for additional chemical or energy use. The works were completed without interruption to the water supply as a supplementary stream had been constructed earlier this year to maintain the supply to homes and businesses.

As part of Irish Water’s Energy Efficiency Programme, we are implementing energy efficient design for all projects as well as energy efficiency measures into the operation of our treatment plants where possible. This includes upgrading, replacing, and optimising inefficient plants and processes across the country to improve our energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Upgrades have also been completed to the existing pumping station for the Annagh Reservoir. This has resulted in an estimated reduction in energy consumption by over 25% or 175,462kWh per year, and yearly savings of €27,974.

Speaking about the upgrade project, Martin Temple, Asset Delivery Lead for Irish Water, said: “We have completed two major milestones of this project on schedule and within budget despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, most importantly, we have already delivered what is a critical improvement to the quality, resilience and robustness of the water supply for Athlone.

When completed, the project will increase capacity of the treatment plant, enabling economic and social development across the town while ensuring compliance with current drinking water quality regulations.

While Irish Water was progressing with these upgrades, we also accelerated our Leakage Reduction Programme and to date have saved over 5 million litres of water per day, improving water quality and supply and reducing the number of bursts and water outages impacting customers.”

Acknowledging the patience and cooperation of the local community, Martin added “We would like to thank the people of Athlone for their ongoing support and cooperation throughout all our projects. We’ll continue to work with them and keep them updated as we continue to improve their water quality and supply.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, began construction work on the plant in January 2021. The project will increase the capacity of the treatment plant, enabling economic and social development across the town while ensuring compliance with current drinking water quality regulations. The project is being carried out by Veolia Water Ireland on behalf of Irish Water,

For more information on this project, visit our Athlone Water Supply Scheme Upgrade project page.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.