Major wastewater project progresses in Athlone

30 March 2022

Irish Water, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, is progressing the Athlone Main Drainage project to safeguard the environment and provide for future growth and development in the town. This project represents a further step in the continued delivery of improvements to the wastewater infrastructure in the town, having already invested €5.6m to upgrade Athlone Wastewater Treatment Plant.

When completed, this project will significantly improve water quality in the River Shannon by removing non-compliant overflows. It will also increase the capacity of the sewer network, providing for future population growth and economic development, and reduce the risk of sewer flooding in homes and business premises.

The project involves the construction of new pumping stations in Golden Island and Coosan West, the construction of almost 3km of new sewers, and decommissioning of the existing under-performing pumping stations and pipework. Combined sewer overflows will be eliminated at six locations along the River Shannon and replaced by two new overflows designed to Irish Water standards, protecting the integrity of the local environment.

Commenting on the project Eunan Canavan, Regional Infrastructure Delivery Lead with Irish Water, said “We are looking forward to delivering this significant project on behalf of the local community in Athlone. This project will enhance the local environment by alleviating sewer flooding and improving water quality in the River Shannon for angling, water sports and marine life.

“It will also ensure that the wastewater infrastructure meets the needs of homes and businesses while providing capacity for future growth and development.”

Works will take place in a number of locations across Athlone and crews will make every effort to minimise the impact of these works on local businesses and residents. Where feasible, the new sewers will be installed using trenchless technology, meaning construction will take place underground without the need for open-cut excavation.

Irish Water has secured the necessary lands and wayleaves required for this project and confirmation of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) has been published. Planning permissions for the project were previously granted in 2017 by Westmeath County Council and updated planning applications have been submitted.

Subject to statutory approvals and successful planning applications, it is expected that the construction contract will be signed later this year with works set to begin in early 2023. Irish Water will continue to engage with the local community and information events for businesses, residents and elected representatives will be held prior to the commencement of works. For more information on this project, visit our Athlone Main Drainage Scheme project page.

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 the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.