Upgrade will provide safe and sustainable drinking water for 200,000 people

Irish Water welcomes the direction from An Bord Pleanála to grant consent for the planned upgrade of the Vartry Water Treatment Plant subject to 8 conditions. Treated water from Vartry provides drinking water for 200,000 people through Wicklow and up to south Dublin.

Irish Water secured planning permission from Wicklow County Council in November 2016 to upgrade the Vartry water treatment plant. The consent was subsequently appealed by third parties. The decision by An Bord Pleanála follows an oral hearing in June and a two year public consultation process with local stakeholders, public representatives and statutory authorities. In the delivery of this critical project, Irish Water will seek to continue to work closely with all interested parties to ensure the protection of the environment.  

Removal from EPA's Remedial Action List (RAL)

The Vartry Water Supply Scheme is currently on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) which identifies supplies that are in urgent need of improvement. The Vartry Water Treatment Plant presently has inadequate treatment against cryptosporidium and trihalomethanes or THMs. The planned upgrade will ensure the plant meets all drinking water standards and will remove the water supply area plant from the RAL.

The planned upgrade to the water treatment plant will provide the communities it serves with safe and sustainable drinking water, complying with requirements set out in the European Union Drinking Water Directive and national Drinking Water Regulations and ensuring that this critical water supply infrastructure can operate safely through any intense rainfall events.  

Protecting the ecology of the River Vartry

Geoff O’Sullivan, Programme Delivery Manger with Irish Water, said “We welcome the Direction of An Bord Pleanála for the consent of the planned upgrade of the Vartry Water Treatment Plant. The upgrade of the 150-year old Vartry Water Supply Scheme is a priority project for Irish Water, given its importance to so many people in Wicklow and south Dublin.  As part of the project, Irish Water have committed to a number of significant measures to protect the ecology of the River Vartry, particularly during drought periods. The project will restore the treatment plant and water supply to ensure it meets all drinking water regulations and safeguards public health.”

As part of the planned upgrade to the water treatment plant, Irish Water has confirmed it will not abstract any additional water from the Vartry Reservoirs or from the catchment of the River Vartry. The volume of water abstracted will be the same as it has been over the last 150 years, when the Scheme was commissioned. Irish Water also has committed to provide flows of 5 million litres per day that will replace water that releases from the present water treatment plant on a variable basis. The guaranteed flow of 5 million litres per day will protect the ecology of the river during periods of low flow. Previously, during periods of drought, there was no flow release from the water treatment plant and this will no longer be the case.

Committed to engaging with all stakeholders

Irish Water remains committed to engaging with all stakeholders as we progress this important project for the benefit of communities across Wicklow and south Dublin. 

For more information on the benefits of this project, visit our Vartry Water Supply Scheme page.

Dublin, Wicklow

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