Vartry Water Supply Scheme removed from list of ‘at risk’ supplies following works

03 February 2022

Almost 130,000 water customers in Wicklow and South Dublin received good news this week following the removal of seven water supplies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from their Remedial Action List.

The Remedial Action List identifies drinking water supplies that are at risk of failing to consistently supply safe, clean drinking water. The seven water supplies which form part of the Vartry Water Supply Scheme were removed by the EPA following extensive investment and upgrade works by Irish Water working in partnership with Wicklow County Council, Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Irish Water recently completed construction on a new, state-of-the-art water treatment plant in Vartry. The completion of the new water treatment plant marked the culmination of a total investment of €150 million in the upgrade of the Vartry Water Supply Scheme. This has not only ensured the removal of Vartry and associated supplies from the EPA’s RAL, it has also ensured a safe and sustainable water supply for more than 200,000 people overall across Bray, Wicklow Town, Enniskerry, Greystones and South Dublin now and into the future. For more information on the project, visit our Vartry Water Supply Scheme project page.

Works are continuing on the two remaining Wicklow supplies with a view to having them removed from the RAL as soon as possible. Irish Water has commenced detailed design on a project to rationalise both the Ballymorris and Aughrim / Annacurra water supplies to the Arklow Water Supply Zone. The project will ensure a safer and more reliable water supply for customers in both areas while facilitating growth and development and represents an investment by Irish Water of €6.3m. The project is expected to be completed in 2023 and further details and timelines will be confirmed later in the design process.

Peter Thornton, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, commented: “Irish Water is committed to ensuring that all our customers have safe, clean drinking water. This is a significant challenge due to decades of under-investment in our water infrastructure, but we are making steady progress, with approximately 127,000 people in Wicklow and South Dublin now removed from the Remedial Action List.

Nationally, the numbers of customers on the list continue to fall. Overall 16 supplies have been removed from the list in the past year, serving a total of 790,000 customers. We are working in partnership with Local Authorities to address issues with the supplies which remain on the list and to bring them to a standard where the EPA determines that they can be removed.

As a single national utility, Irish Water has been able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water treatment plants and focus investment where the risk to our customers is highest. Nationally Irish Water is investing €5.2 billion in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure between 2020 and 2024. Significant improvements in water quality are being achieved year on year by this approach right across the country.

The Remedial Action List is updated quarterly by the EPA for those water supplies where investment in treatment processes is required.