Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant project progressing to benefit local community
Irish Water, working in partnership with Wicklow County Council, are progressing works to deliver the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant project which will end the current practice of discharging untreated wastewater into the Avoca River. The project will bring benefits to Arklow in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all.
The project includes the following:
- New wastewater treatment plant to treat a population of 36,000
- Two interceptor sewer pipelines (along North and South Quay) to bring untreated wastewater to the proposed plant
- A marine sea outfall pipe to safely discharge the treated wastewater effluent to the Irish Sea
Preferred site identified following three non-statutory public consultation phases
Irish Water undertook a site selection process and the Old Wallboard Factory, North Quay, Ferrybank was identified as the preferred site for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant. The preferred site has been identified following a detailed selection criteria, engagement with stakeholders and three non-statutory public consultation phases.
We completed a third period of non-statutory consultation in October and November 2017. During this consultation, we sought feedback on the design of the plant and the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) for the project. Two drop-in information events took place in Arklow Municipal District Offices as part of this consultation phase. Irish Water would like to thank members of the community for attending these events and making submissions.
What works have been completed to date?
All site investigation survey works have been completed along the North and South Quays and at the preferred site for the WwTP. The work completed to date includes a number of ecological surveys, including bat surveys, as well as identification of invasive species. In addition, ground penetrating radar and intrusive site investigations have been carried out along the proposed sewer routes, as well as structural surveys of the site.
We have now completed all works in the marine area including archaeological surveys, ecological surveys a bathymetric survey as well as a non-intrusive ground investigation survey.
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations
We are currently undertaking ongoing assessments of coastal erosion. Furthermore, in May 2017, amendments were made to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations in Ireland. Significantly, there will be the requirement to assess the impact of projects on climate (for example greenhouse gas emissions) and their vulnerability to climate change and Irish Water is taking this into account.
We have developed the architectural design of the wastewater treatment plant and landscape design of the site. This will ensure that the design is to a high standard and will comply with the planning policy for the area. We have also progressed with the design of the technical elements of the plant. The feedback received during the public consultation is being considered when finalising the design.
What are the benefits?
The Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant will bring benefits to Arklow in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all. A new wastewater treatment plant will significantly improve the quality of the water in the Avoca River and will facilitate economic and social development for the town and surrounds of Arklow.
Works are continuing to progress on this important project. Irish Water would like to thank everyone who fed into the public consultation at the end of 2017. We are currently reviewing all of the submissions received and these submissions will be taken on board in developing the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and planning application for the project.
We are working with the Office of Public Works (OPW) to finalise how the design for our project and the Flood Relief Scheme for the Avoca River can work together. OPW, Wicklow County Council and Irish Water are currently liaising on possible ways to integrate some of the proposed works so as to minimise disruption to the town, where possible. Following completion and agreement of the final scope of the integration works, Irish Water expects to submit a planning application this summer to An Bord Pleanála.
For more information on the project, please visit our The Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant section.