29 November 2016 Go back to News
Planning permission welcomed for the upgrade of the 150 year old water supply for North Wicklow and South Dublin
Irish Water welcomes the planning permission from Wicklow County Council 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 long-term future of the water supply and ensure the Vartry Scheme meets 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 from 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. It involved the building of two reservoirs, a water treatment plant, a four kilometre-long tunnel under Callowhill and sixty kilometres of trunkmain to deliver water to the supply area.
The Vartry Scheme is seen by Irish Water as a priority project given its importance to the large communities in Wicklow, Dún Laoghaire and other areas of south Dublin.
Geoff O’Sullivan, Project Manager with Irish Water, said “We welcome this planning permission 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 of this 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 decommissioning of the existing water treatment plant and existing tunnel to allow for remediation works to be carried out. A separate application for the replacement of the existing tunnel with a pipeline has been made by Irish Water to Wicklow County Council.
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. These areas are currently served by water sources which have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as being at risk of failure to meet the current drinking water regulations.
For more information, please visit our page on the Vartry Water Supply Scheme.