Planning application submitted for major wastewater project in Avoca

17 May 2022

Irish Water, working in partnership with Wicklow County Council, is progressing plans to construct a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and supporting infrastructure in Avoca. When completed, the new treatment plant will bring significant benefits to the local community in terms of protecting the environment and improving water quality in the Avoca River for angling and aquatic life. It will also act as an enabler for housing and support economic growth and development in the area.

Irish Water is delighted to announce that following detailed design works, a planning application has been submitted which includes the construction of a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and associated works beside the existing plant located off Tower Avenue. The project also involves the construction of a new storm water storage tank, outfall pipes to the Avoca River and the construction of new reed beds, providing a sustainable and cost-effective solution for the long-term treatment of sludge. The new treatment plant will have the capacity to adequately treat a population equivalent (PE) of 1,900, the equivalent of 2,690 wheelie bins of raw sewage per day, ensuring it meets appropriate standards before being safely discharged into the marine environment.

Commenting on the project Dawid Wozniak, Regional Delivery Lead at Irish Water, said “We are delighted to be moving forward with this significant project on behalf of the local community in Avoca. This project will end the current practice of discharging untreated wastewater into the Avoca River, thereby, improving water quality and marine life as well as supporting economic growth and development in the area

Irish Water is committed to ending the unacceptable practice of discharging raw sewage in Ireland by constructing wastewater treatment plants and network infrastructure. We are working to ensure that wastewater is adequately treated and meets the highest standards before being safely discharged into the marine environment.

When originally constructed in the early 1970s, the existing Avoca Wastewater Treatment Plant provided primary treatment for a designated population of approximately 500. The wastewater treatment plant no longer operates sufficiently and does not provide the necessary treatment to meet the demands of a growing population, resulting in raw sewage being discharged directly into the river. This project will end this unacceptable practice and bring with it significant benefits to the local community and environment including improved water quality for angling and marine life while also acting as an enabler for housing and support economic growth and development in the area.

Outlining the progress Irish Water have already made to date in ending raw sewage discharges, Dawid added: “The size and scale of the challenge of raw sewage discharging into our water ways is well documented. Since 2014, Irish Water has built new wastewater infrastructure for 17 towns and villages across the country, ending the discharge of raw sewage into our rivers, lakes and seas: the equivalent of 100,000 people’s worth, every day.

In 2021, we awarded contracts in 13 locations nationwide to end the discharge of raw sewage into our waterways. So far in 2022 we have awarded contracts for two additional locations with more to follow in the coming months. 60% of the raw sewage entering waterways in Ireland has now been eliminated and we are on track to fully removing the majority of raw sewage discharges by 2025”.

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.