Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, will invest over €58 million in a major programme of work to deliver new and upgraded wastewater infrastructure in the county. This will bring to €94 million the total investment by Irish Water in Galway’s water and wastewater infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s recently published Business Plan

Speaking to IBEC’s Regional Executive Committee in Galway today, Ervia, Irish Water’s parent company, outlined the key objectives for the utility that will bring Ireland’s national water infrastructure to an acceptable level.

There are currently 44 locations across the country, including Kinvara, where untreated sewage is discharged directly into lakes and rivers or onto our coastline. Irish Water has committed to ending this unacceptable practice by 2021. Construction on a new €5.1 million wastewater treatment plant, outfall pipe and collection network for Kinvara will begin in early 2016 with completion programmed for early 2017. An investment of €7.75 million, to address critical issues with the wastewater network at Clifden, including a new wastewater treatment plant, is also due to be completed at the end of November.

A further €5.7 million upgrade of the Mutton Island wastewater treatment plant, the main wastewater treatment plant for Galway City, is also nearing completion, providing increased capacity and operational savings for the network in this area. Work is also well underway on two new modern wastewater treatment plants for the villages of Claregalway and Milltown, representing an investment of approximately €5.6 million. The towns of Claregalway and Milltown currently have no public wastewater treatment facilities and rely on individual treatment systems within housing developments and septic tanks to treat wastewater from these areas. This has given rise to significant environmental issues and a deterioration of the water quality in the River Clare.

Separately, upgrades to a number of outdated plants which do not provide adequate treatment of wastewater prior to discharge, including Oughterard wastewater treatment plant (€3 million), is also planned in Co. Galway.

A major €11 million upgrade of water services infrastructure in Ballinasloe is ongoing. The first phase of works, which commenced in March 2015, is currently on site and includes the upgrade of parts of the sewer network and the rehabilitation of water mains. The second phase will be carried out in tandem with street enhancement works by Galway County Council, to minimise disruption and Irish Water is funding upgrades to the sewer network and water mains as part of this contract.

Irish Water is advancing wastewater projects at Athenry, Glenamaddy, Ballygar, Mountbellew, Spiddal, Ahascragh, Carraroe and Roundstone. The planned works will address defective collection networks and wastewater treatment infrastructure at these locations. Overall, Irish Water plans to invest an additional €20 million approximately to upgrade sewerage schemes across the County.

A €0.3 million investment approximately in the upgrade of the Tuam wastewater treatment plant is also being progressed by Irish Water as part of Minor Programmes Critical Asset Programme.

Irish Water is also progressing a design review to look a the most sustainable design solution for other sites in County Galway including Ballymoe, Ahascragh, Woodford, Eyrecourt, Newbridge, Killimor, Roundstone and Carraroe.

“This is a significant and much needed investment to repair and upgrade the wastewater infrastructure of Galway City and County,” said Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management, Irish Water. “Ending the unacceptable practice where raw or inadequately treated sewerage is discharged directly into our coastal waters is a priority. We are delighted to be close to full completion at the Clifden plant and will shortly be commencing work on the new plant for Kinvara.”

Irish Water invested €340 million in improving water and waste water services in 2014 and will invest over €410 million in improving water services during 2015. This spend will increase over subsequent years. Capital investment in the region of €600 million per year is required for a sustained period of several decades, to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure.


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