Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, is investing €31m in a major upgrade of one of the country’s largest wastewater treatment plants at Osberstown, County Kildare. This is the largest single investment to date in the upgrade of a wastewater treatment plant by Irish Water.

The newly upgraded plant will serve the many industries, local businesses and homes in Sallins, Clane, Prosperous, Naas, Johnstown, Kill, Newbridge, Kilcullen, Athgarven, Carragh and the Curragh. The existing infrastructure is currently under pressure and unable to support future economic and social development in the region. Irish Water has prioritised this project to significantly increase the treatment capacity of the plant and provide a scheme that is in line with modern practices and environmental standards.

The project, which is currently under construction, has achieved its first milestone to increase the treatment capacity from the current 80,000 PE (population equivalent) to 88,000 PE. This milestone is critical in the provision of a modern, fit for purpose, water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure continued economic development in the region. Upgrades such as this at Osberstown are being prioritised by Irish Water at a national level to ensure projects which can deliver the greatest social, environmental and economic development are progressed.

Completion of all upgrade works at the plant is expected by the end of 2017, at which point the plant will have a final treatment capacity of 130,000 PE and a higher level of treatment in full compliance with environmental licenses. The Osberstown treatment plant discharges treated wastewater into the River Liffey making it one of the largest inshore discharge points in the country. Maintaining river water quality by providing improved treatment processes will be a key part of the upgrade work.

Michael Tinsley, of the Wastewater Capital Programme at Irish Water said; “Many of our treatment facilities are operating under significant pressure with little spare capacity to cater for increased demand. As the economy continues to recover it is essential that we have the infrastructure in place to meet the growth in demand from our industrial and domestic customers. This region has a thriving and growing agri -food sector and water services are vital to its continued development. By taking a national approach to maintaining and managing assets, investments such as this in Osberstown can be prioritised to deliver the maximum social, economic and environmental benefits.”

Irish Water invested €340m in improving water and wastewater 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 €600m 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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