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

04 January 2022

Irish Water, 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.

Irish Water commenced works in September 2021 and has fully completed the demolition of the old Wallboard Factory as well as undertaking site investigation works and diversions at a number of locations on the North Quays. One tunnel shaft has also been sunk in the North Quay area. As part of the next phase of works, a number of traffic management measures will be in place in the North Quay area from today, Tuesday, 4 January 2022 for 3 months with diversion routes clearly signposted. A single lane closure will be in place on the North Quay Road outside the Bridgewater Shopping Centre. Entry to the Bridgewater Shopping Centre/Aldi will remain open as normal. Traffic leaving the Bridgewater area will exit via a new temporary link road connecting Mill Road to Seaview Avenue. A temporary traffic light system will be in place at the junction of Seaview Avenue and Ferrybank. A temporary road closure will also be in place on a section of the North Quay Road and will extend from the entrance of the Arklow Marina Village to the T-junction at North Quay and Mill Road. Local access will be maintained to the residents of North Quay Road. 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. Irish Water is adhering to government and HSE guidance and in compliance with COVID-19 controls to deliver this project.

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 2022 with the next phase of works. 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.