Works progress with new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant for Arklow

07 February 2022

Irish Water, working in partnership with Wicklow County Council, continues to progress works on a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant in Arklow, a landmark project that will provide wastewater treatment for the first time for the area. When completed, the treatment plant will bring significant benefits to the local community in terms of protecting the environment and improving water quality in the River Avoca for angling, water sports and marine life. It will also act as an enabler for housing and support economic growth and development in the town.

Works are progressing well and construction will begin on the South Quay in the coming weeks. To ensure the safety of crews and the public, a number of traffic management measures will be in place and the junction of Harbour Road and South Quay will be closed from today, Monday, 7 February. During the works, there will be no left turn from Harbour Road onto South Quay. There will also be works at the junction of South Green and South Quay where access to the South Quay will be restricted to local traffic. Works will include tree felling, services diversions and construction of tunnelling shafts which will facilitate the new sewer pipeline.

Local and emergency access will be maintained at all times throughout the work. Works on the North Quays are progressing well and will continue over the coming weeks with current traffic management remaining in place. Irish Water and Wicklow County Council would like to thank all businesses and residents for their continued cooperation during these essential works and regret any inconvenience caused.

Speaking about the works, Michael Tinsley, Portfolio Delivery Manager with Irish Water, said “We are delighted to announce that works on this essential project are progressing well and we look forward to starting the next phase of works along the South Quay. Eliminating the discharge of untreated wastewater into the River Avoca has always been a priority for Irish Water and we are committed to ending this current practice and safeguarding water quality in the river and marine environment.

On the benefits to the local community, Michael added, “The new wastewater treatment plant will have significant benefits for both residents and businesses as well as tourists that visit the area as it will improve the water quality in the River Avoca and enable future economic growth. We will continue to work closely with the local community and on behalf of Irish Water, I would like to thank businesses and residents for their ongoing support and cooperation as we progress this vital project”.

The project, which is being carried out by Ward and Burke Water Limited on behalf of Irish Water, represents an investment of €139 million and includes the development of a new, state of the art, wastewater treatment plant that has been designed to provide an ultimate treatment capacity for a PE (population equivalent) of up to 36,000, at the Old Wallboard Factory site located at Ferrybank in Arklow, two interceptor sewer pipelines (along North and South Quay) to bring untreated wastewater to the proposed plant and a marine sea outfall pipe to safely discharge the treated wastewater effluent to the Irish Sea.

This project marks another major milestone in Irish Water’s work to end the unacceptable practice of discharging untreated sewage into our waterways and sea. More than half of all the raw sewage discharges have been eliminated since the establishment of Irish Water in 2014 and Arklow is the largest remaining town without treatment. The commencement of this project and the progress made throughout 2021 and next means that we are on track to eliminate the vast majority of raw sewage discharges by 2025. For more information, visit our Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant project page.

Irish Water is committed to keeping customers informed about their water and wastewater supplies across multiple platforms 24/7 and we encourage customers to engage with us on Twitter @IWCare, through our customer care helpline which is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and by setting their location on our 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 the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.