Key contract signed for critical upgrade to the drinking water supply in Meath

14 October 2022

Irish Water, working in partnership with Meath County Council, is delighted to announce the signing of a major new construction contract that will result in critical upgrades to the drinking water supply for customers in Ratoath, Kilbride and Ashbourne. The project is just one of a number of strategically important projects to increase the security and resilience of the drinking water supply across county Meath. When completed, the upgrades will provide a more reliable water supply for homes and businesses while supporting social and economic growth and development in areas which have seen unprecedented growth in recent years.

The project involves the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, elevated 4.7 million litre treated water storage reservoir and secondary disinfection system, adjacent to the existing Windmill Hill Reservoir. As part of the project, Irish Water will also replace over 7km of old and problematic water mains that are prone to frequent bursts, causing supply disruptions for customers in Ratoath, Kilbride and Ashbourne. The old water mains are being replaced by larger, modern, more resilient pipes which will also address low water pressure particularly for customers in Ratoath and Kilbride during periods of peak demand, while also enabling housing growth and development in these areas.

Commenting on the importance of the project for Meath, William McKnight, Infrastructure Delivery Lead with Irish Water, said: “This project is an important milestone in the delivery of a more secure and reliable water supply for our customers in Meath. The new reservoir and associated infrastructure will enable Irish Water to meet current and future demands of homes and businesses across Ratoath, Kilbride and Ashbourne for decades to come, attracting new industry and allowing existing companies to expand and grow.”

Speaking about the importance of building resilience and future capacity into Meath’s water supply, William added, “Today, in Ireland and across the world, we can see the impacts of Climate Change, bringing with it long spells of warmer weather and warnings, alongside the continued need to support housing, businesses and economic growth. Meath is firmly on Dublin's commuter belt and is home to a number of large, well established towns, some of which have seen unprecedented growth in recent years. Irish Water recognises the need for water supplies in Meath to be more resilient to population growth and to periods of high demand which is why we are building future capacity into our water infrastructure."

Pat Wickham, Senior Executive Engineer with Meath County Council, echoed the sentiments, saying, “This is a critical water project for the people of Ratoath, Kilbride and Ashbourne and will provide a much more secure and reliable water supply for generations to come. The old and existing asbestos cement water main is prone to frequent bursts, causing water outages and low pressure, particularly for customers in Ratoath and Kilbride during periods of peak demand. The new mains will address these issues and also enable much needed housing growth and development."

This project is just one of a number of projects that Meath County Council in collaboration with Irish Water is undertaking across Meath that will not only improve the water supply but will also unlock opportunities for growth."

On behalf of Meath County Council, I would like to thank the local communities in advance for their support while we work to deliver this important project and provide them with a better water supply.”

Irish Water has awarded the construction contract to Shareridge Ltd following a strict procurement process with pre-construction works due to begin in the coming weeks.

Irish Water continues to keep customers informed about their water and wastewater supplies across multiple platforms 24/7 and we encourage customers to engage with us on Twitter @IWCare and through our customer care helpline which is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and by setting their location on the Irish Water website.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support growth in our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.