Government approval for major investment in Athlone project

27 July 2022

Located in the heart of the country, Athlone’s growth will continue to a strong beat thanks to a significant Irish Water project coming its way. 

News that Minister for Housing Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, announced cabinet approval for the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme was a milestone moment for Athlone and Irish Water's project team.

The project will significantly increase the capacity of the town’s sewer network allowing for the development of homes and commercial premises and put an end to sewer overflows into the River Shannon in Athlone.

Today's news follows a huge effort by the team in Irish Water and means we can now look forward to awarding the contract for the project and work beginning before the end of the year,” explained Irish Water’s Regional Delivery Lead Eunan Canavan." 

The current network doesn’t have the capacity for growth and there are frequent out of sewer floodings in the town, but this will all change when the upgrade is completed. 

When completed, this project will address non-compliant sewer overflows into the River Shannon and allow for current and future development,” added Eunan.

Announcing the approval Minister O’Brien TD described the project as “pivotal” for the successful delivery of housing in the town. 

The project will cater for a growing population in Athlone and will facilitate economic development and importantly, safeguard the environment.”

The project includes the construction of new pumping stations, installing more than 2.8km of sewer network and decommissioning underperforming pumping stations and pipework all by the end of 2025.

Irish Water is conscious of minimising disruption in the town and, where feasible, plans to install the new sewers using specialist tunnelling techniques. 

Irish Water previously invested €5.6million to increase the capacity of the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Plant in June 2018 and this latest project is further progress in the delivery of infrastructure to support housing and economic growth. 

Irish Water is working in partnership with all those who are committed to the goal of providing homes to ensure Irish Water can deliver water infrastructure where and when it's needed,” said Eunan.