12 April - Irish Water has submitted a planning application to Wicklow County Council, seeking permission for the construction of a new water treatment plant on the site of the existing plant at Vartry.  This treatment plant, along with other planned upgrades to the existing site, will secure the water supply for the long-term and ensure the scheme continues to meet all drinking water standards.  

Treated water from Vartry provides drinking water for one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The supply area stretches through North Wicklow, to South Dublin, and serves more than 200,000 people.  

The plant was originally constructed in the 1860s and was a feat of engineering for its time, which involved the building of two reservoirs, a water treatment plant, a 4 kilometre long tunnel under Callowhill and sixty kilometres of trunk main to deliver water to the supply area.

The Vartry Scheme is seen by Irish Water as a priority project, given its importance to so many people in Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and other areas of South Dublin.

Geoff O’Sullivan, Project Manager with Irish Water said “We are pleased to submit this planning application as an important step in securing the drinking water to the Vartry Water Supply area of North Wicklow and South Dublin.  The scheme has had no major upgrade since it was built over 150 years ago and is now in need of urgent investment.  Irish Water will invest up to €200 million in the upgrade which is seen as a priority project.”

The construction of the new water treatment plant is a key element of the Vartry Water Supply Upgrade Project, which also includes the construction of a 4km pipeline and pumping station to secure the transfer of treated water from Vartry to Callowhill, the decommissioning of the existing water treatment plant and existing tunnel to allow for remediation works to be carried out.  Ageing pipes and fittings within the dam of the reservoir will also be replaced and improvements to the Vartry dam spillway will also allow for more intense rainfall events to ensure public safety. An energy recovery system for the water transfer pipeline system is planned at Callowhill.

Although no additional water will be abstracted from the reservoir, the upgrade works will also enable the extension of the water supply network from Vartry to other areas of Mid Wicklow including Rathdrum, Aughrim, Avoca, Ballinaclash, Roundwood, Laragh, Annamoe, Redcross, Conary and Glenealy. Further information is available at 

Dublin, Wicklow

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