Sod is turned on new wastewater project which will support sustainable growth in Athlone

21 April 2023

A sod turning to signal the start of construction on one of the largest capital investment projects to date by Uisce Éireann took place this morning in Athlone, on the banks of the River Shannon.

The €114 landmark project to upgrade the town’s wastewater collection system is pivotal to meet the growing needs of homes and businesses while providing capacity for current and future growth and development. Crucially, the new scheme will also protect the environment and enhance water quality in the Shannon while significantly reducing the risk of sewer flooding to homes and businesses.

The event took place on the site of the new wastewater pumping station under construction at Golden Island and was led by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD. Also in attendance was Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Councillor Aengus O’Rourke, and fellow councillors from Athlone-Moate municipal district. Local TD and Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Peter Burke was also present to mark the occasion along with Deputy Robert Troy, Senator Michael Carrigy, Senator Eugene Murphy and representatives from Uisce Éireann, Westmeath County Council, members of the local community and pupils from St Peter’s and St. Mary’s National Schools.

Commenting on the importance of the project, the CEO of Uisce Éireann, Niall Gleeson said: “This is a landmark project for Athlone and its surrounding communities, and we are looking forward to delivering it on their behalf."

The project itself is one of the largest capital investments by Uisce Éireann to date and will bring numerous benefits to the local community and environment. It is a massive undertaking for us and our delivery partners, and today marks another major milestone in our work to ensure that wastewater is adequately treated and meets appropriate standards before being safely discharged to the environment.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD added: “I am delighted to welcome the start of this Uisce Éireann project for the people of Athlone. The upgrade is pivotal for future growth and development. It will reduce flooding, protect our environment and crucially, will provide the capacity we need for more homes and development in the region.”

Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Councillor Aengus O’Rourke, added: “I am delighted to be here today to witness this historic occasion. The project represents a significant investment by Uisce Éireann and is fundamental to the growth of our area. The provision of adequate wastewater infrastructure, not only for our existing population, but for our future growth, needs to be planned and implemented now, so that we are ready to meet the opportunities of the coming years. I’d like to thank Uisce Éireann and Westmeath County Council and commend them for their hard work, 24/7, to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services.

President of Athlone Chamber of Commerce, Alan Shaw, welcomed the improvements for local businesses, adding, “The provision of adequate wastewater services is an integral factor for local business, particularly for our multinationals and hospitality sectors. As Athlone continues to develop, local economic growth will be underpinned by the work already undertaken and by the work that continues to be delivered. It is important that the capital expenditure planned for Athlone continues to be implemented effectively in order to ensure to ensure our communities and businesses continue to thrive and we welcome the continued development of this key part of infrastructure by Uisce Éireann”.

Uisce Éireann will continue to engage with the local community throughout the duration of the project. For more information on this project, visit our Dedicated Project Page on the Uisce Éireann website

Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering public drinking water and wastewater services for the people of Ireland. We are committed to enabling communities to thrive by continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth and development, providing safe drinking water, and enhancing the environment. To find out more visit the Uisce Éireann website.