Read what to do.


What is involved as part of this project?

The works to be constructed include:

  • A new state of the art wastewater treatment plant providing treatment capacity for a population equivalent of up to 36,000 people at the Old Wallboard Factory.
  • Sewer pipelines along the North & South Quays to bring untreated wastewater to the proposed treatment plant.
  • A marine outfall pipe to safety discharge treated wastewater to the Irish Sea.

Why is this project needed?

There are currently no wastewater treatment facilities in Arklow Town. As a result, untreated wastewater is being discharged directly into the Avoca River.

This project will stop the discharge of untreated wastewater to the Avoca River, comply with all relevant legislative requirements and service the population of Arklow into the future and ensure a resilient wastewater network.

What are the benefits of this project?

The project will:

  • Provide economic growth and commercial development of Arklow Town and the surrounding areas
  • Improve water quality in the Avoca River
  • Enhance the amenity value of the town and the surrounding areas
  • Encourage social development and further growth

When was the project granted planning permission?

The project was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála on 1st August 2019 subject to 25 planning conditions.

Who will carry out the works?

The works will be completed by Ward & Burke Construction Limited working on behalf of Uisce Éireann. All works will be overseen by Uisce Éireann.

When will works commence and what is the timescale for the works?

The next phase of works will commence on 27 September 2021. Uisce Éireann expects works in the overall project to last for approximately 4 years.

Once complete, what will the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant look like?

The following image provides a visual graphic of what the inlet works building of the wastewater treatment plant will look like once works are complete within the Old Wallboard Factory site.

Can residents expect much disruption, traffic diversions, delays etc.?

During the works a traffic management plan, agreed with Wicklow County Council will be in place. To minimise traffic disruption, construction vehicle movements will only take place outside of peak morning and evening traffic times.

How will construction impact the area?

All potential impacts resulting from construction works were subject to Environmental Impact Assessment by An Bord Pleanála. All mitigation measures contained in the assessment will be strictly complied with. Ward & Burke will liaise closely with the community during construction to ensure a constant flow of information.

What will be the construction site hours?

To minimise disruption heavy construction equipment/machinery will only be operated during the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday 8.00am to 7.00pm
  • Saturday 8.00am to 2.00pm
  • No operation on Sundays or Bank Holidays
  • Note that these limits exclude the tunnelling machine and directly associated activities which are low noise emitting activities

Will the construction works generate dust?

In order to minimise the generation of dust the Project Team will undertake the following:

  • Spraying of exposed earthworks activities and site haul roads during dry weather.
  • Provision of wheel washes at site exit points.
  • Control of vehicle speeds, speed restrictions and vehicle access.
  • Sweeping of hard surface roads.
  • Provision of a 2.4 hoarding around the site.

Will the project and operation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant generate noise?

In order to minimise the generation of noise the Project team will ensure the following measures are in place:

  • The provision of hoarding around the construction works
  • Continuous noise monitoring will be undertaken to ensure it does not exceed limits
  • Continuous vibration monitoring will be undertaken to ensure it does not exceed limits.

Will you communicate with residents, so they are aware of upcoming works in their area?

The Project Team will notify the local community in advance of the works commencing and will provide contact details should they have any questions regarding the works. As part of this project Ward & Burke have a full time Community Liaison Officer who will communicate with all stakeholders as the project progresses and will be available to address any queries or concerns in relation to the works. Regular updates will be available on the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant project page.

Where can I find out more about this project?

Members of the public are welcome to contact the Project Team with any questions on the project and can do so in the following ways:
Phone: 086 1036300

What is wastewater?

We all create wastewater in our everyday lives. At home, we access water with ease; we turn the tap, we flush the toilet and we hit the button on the washing machine. Industry, hospitals, schools and offices also create wastewater.

Wastewater can contain a wide range of contaminants, some of which can be broken down in the environment easily while others not so easily, and must therefore be treated to ensure that it is not a threat to public health or the environment when discharged to the receiving environment. Wastewater is collected and transported via underground sewers / pipelines to be treated at a wastewater treatment plant (WwTP).

Why do we need to treat wastewater?

Untreated wastewater poses a threat to public health and the environment. Treatment is therefore carried out in order to produce an environmentally safe liquid that is suitable for disposal to our aquatic environment, such as rivers, lakes and seas.

Proper wastewater treatment systems are essential for sustaining modern living and contributing to development as householders, businesses, industries, schools and hospitals all rely on a robust wastewater treatment system to maintain their daily activities.

How is wastewater treated?

The sewerage system transports wastewater via underground sewers / pipelines to a wastewater treatment plant where it is treated to strict standards under EPA licence and in compliance with EU and national water quality legislation, to a standard that is safe to be discharged to the environment.

At the treatment plant, contaminants are removed including fats, oils and greases along with biological matter such as bacteria and faecal matter.

For more information on the wastewater treatment, check out our section From Drain to Sea.

How is wastewater transported to the treatment plant?

Wastewater will be transported from homes and businesses to the wastewater treatment plant (WwTP) through an underground drainage network. The Arklow Wastewater Treatment Works project therefore includes a new drainage network to carry the wastewater to the WwTP for treatment.