Critical milestone reached in upgrade of Athlone Water Treatment Plant

19 April 2022

Irish Water is delighted to announce that a critical milestone has been reached in the delivery of a safe, secure and sustainable water supply for Athlone with the completion of the first phase of a major upgrade of Athlone Water Treatment Plant. The ambitious overhaul of the treatment plant is progressing well and on schedule with works to supplement and support current infrastructure to ensure a more secure water supply to homes and businesses in the short term already completed.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, began construction work on the plant in January 2021 to increase its capacity and meet the long term demands for Athlone into the future. Phase one of the project, which was recently completed, included the installation of a supplementary treatment stream together with new clarification, filtration and disinfection facilities. These works, combined with Irish Water’s intensive and ongoing campaign to reduce high levels of leakage across the town, has enabled the treatment plant to provide a more secure drinking water supply while crucially providing the headroom required to allow the commencement of Phase 2. Previously, the treatment plant could not meet peak demand for water in Athlone and surrounding areas.

Speaking about the upgrade project, Martin Temple, Asset Delivery Lead for Irish Water, said: “Providing a safe and secure water supply for our customers in Athlone is a top priority for Irish Water. We are pleased to have completed the first phase of this major 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 in the short term.

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 the upgrade, we also accelerated our Leakage Reduction Programme to improve and secure the water supply and reduce the need for water restrictions. This work and the hard work and dedication of Westmeath County Council has saved over 5 million litres of water per day, significantly reducing the number of bursts and water outages impacting customers.

Upon completion of Phase 1, it was possible to immediately progress with an advanced Phase 2 programme of works to upgrade the existing sedimentation tanks which is already 50% completed. The next phase also involves upgrading and increasing the capacity of the existing treatment processes and includes the expansion of the existing inlet and intake pumping station, as well as upgrades to the filtration and disinfection processes. The project is being carried out by Veolia Water Ireland on behalf of Irish Water.

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

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

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.