Green light for €50m investment in Wastewater Infrastructure for Ramelton, Milford and Rathmullan

22 February 2023

Uisce Éireann welcomes the decision by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien TD, to grant ministerial approval for the development of the Ramelton, Milford and Rathmullan Sewerage Scheme. This new sewerage scheme will result in significant improvements to water quality by ending the discharge of raw sewage directly into Leannan Estuary, Lough Swilly and Maggie’s Burn, safeguarding the environment and supporting social and economic development.

Plans are at an advanced stage and the necessary planning permissions and lands have been secured. The procurement of the construction contract has been successfully completed and now with the receipt of Ministerial consent, construction work can start immediately. 

The project includes the development of a new, state of the art wastewater treatment plant at Tirroddy that will serve a population equivalent of approximately 5,500. The works will also include the decommissioning of the existing underperforming infrastructure, including the treatment plant in Milford and the septic tank in Rathmullan, as well as the construction of new pumping stations in Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullan. A new rising main will transfer wastewater from the pumping stations to the new treatment plant at Tirroddy. Construction of a new outfall pipe will also be necessary, which will facilitate the safe discharge of treated wastewater into Swilly Estuary.

Uisce Éireann’s Regional Lead Patrick Greene said the scale of delivery of this critical infrastructure is unprecedented.

We are investing approximately €100m in Donegal as part of the delivery of a number of strategic projects as we strive to deliver best in class wastewater services and infrastructure for Ireland now and in the future. We welcome the decision by the Minister to grant consent for the project that will allow us to progress with the development of this vital project. Eliminating the discharge of untreated wastewater into the Leannan Estuary, Lough Swilly and Maggie’s Burn continues to be a key priority for Uisce Éireann and this project is critical in safeguarding the environment as well as future proofing the infrastructure in Donegal for the future." 

Patrick added: “The sewerage scheme will remove the risk to water quality in the downstream catchment of Lough Fern and the Leannan Estuary. The project will also remove the risk to the protected areas within Lough Swilly, including the Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Shellfish Waters and designated Bathing Waters, including Rathmullan Beach. Having cleaner water will also enhance the areas’ amenity value, particularly in Rathmullan which will contribute towards restoring the Blue Flag status of Rathmullan Beach. The project will improve water quality and potentially salmon spawning in Maggie’s Burn which is a designated Salmonid Water. We will continue to work closely with the local community and will issue further updates as we progress with this vital project”.

Uisce Éireann’s targeted programme of investment across Donegal in existing wastewater infrastructure is also reaping benefits for communities across the county. In Kerrykeel, Kilcar and Burtonport works are progressing on schedule as part of a €20m investment to provide new wastewater treatment plants and associated infrastructure, ending the discharge of raw sewage into the environment. Works as part of the €31m Buncrana, Ballyboffey and Stranorlar Sewer Networks Project are also set to commence in the coming months. Uisce Éireann is also progressing plans as part of the delivery of state of the art new wastewater treatment plants in Carrigart, Kilmacrennan and Mountcharles. Furthermore in Donegal, the Coolatee Sewerage Scheme project will eliminate the discharge of raw sewage into Deele River improving the wastewater treatment capacity while allowing for current and future population growth. Works as part of this project are set to commence in the coming months. 

Uisce Éireann 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.