Irish Water has announced details of a €3 million investment in the Sligo & Environs Water Supply Project. This is the second funding investment announcement for County Sligo in as many weeks. Just last week Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, announced a €1.9 million investment in the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply Scheme which will see the rehabilitation and replacement of 17km of water mains and the laying of 24km of new water mains. 

The Sligo & Environs Water Supply Scheme is currently served from three water treatment plants namely:

  • The Foxes Den Water Treatment Plant
  • The Cairns Hill Water Treatment Plant
  • The Kilsellagh Water Treatment Plant

The Foxes Den and Cairns Hill Water Treatment Plants (WTP) currently abstracts raw water from Lough Gill. However, the current treatment process at the Cairns Hill WTP results in the scheme being at risk of failure to meet all drinking water quality standards and the scheme is listed for remedial action by the Environmental Protection Agency.   

The €3m investment in the Sligo & Environs Water Supply Scheme project will ensure a more sustainable water supply is provided to approximately 11,000 people currently served from Cairn’s Hill Water Treatment Plant (WTP).  The works to be undertaken by Irish Water will see the upgrade of the existing Foxes Den WTP, the decommissioning of the existing Cairns Hill WTP together with associated site and ancillary works.

The upgrading of the existing Foxes Den WTP will ensure that the plant can meet the current water demand whilst also providing capacity to meet future development needs. Works are due to commence in May 2016 and Irish Water expects these works to last for 9 months. Celtic Anglian Water Ltd. will carry out this work on behalf of Irish Water.

Commenting on the works Declan Cawley, Water Network and Rehabilitation Programmes Regional Lead at Irish Water said: “Irish Water is pleased to deliver this project to improve and safeguard the water supply to Sligo and Environs. This is one of the many investments Irish Water is making to improve the water and wastewater infrastructure in Ireland that is in need of critical investment. The development of the Sligo & Environs Water Supply Scheme will see a sustainable improvement in the quality of water supplies, increased regulatory compliance and the elimination of supplies from the EPA’s Remedial Action List.”

Irish Water invested €340 million in improving water and wastewater services in 2014 and over €363 million during 2015. Irish Water plans to spend €532 million on water services in 2016. Capital investment in the region of €700 million per year is required for a sustained period of several decades to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s recently published Business Plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.


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