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Preferred site identified for €30m Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant

Uisce Éireann, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, today announced that it has recommended the Old Wallboard Factory, North Quay, Ferrybank as the preferred site for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant in Arklow. Arklow is one of 45 towns identified by the EPA, where wastewater is discharged without any treatment. In the case of Arklow the untreated wastewater is discharged into the Avoca River which flows through Arklow Town, an unacceptable situation that Uisce Éireann is working to address. The provision of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant in Arklow will bring benefits to the town and surrounding areas in terms of health, environmental protection and improved water quality for all.
The preferred location for the new Treatment Plant has been recommended by Uisce Éireann based on the public consultation processes and consultation with An Bord Pleanála, Wicklow County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will now be carried out at the preferred site which will examine in detail the issues of concern raised during the consultation periods including, but not limited to, odour, noise & vibration, visual impact, traffic disruption, flooding and Development Plan policies and objectives. . The EIA which is due to begin immediately, and will take approximately 12 months to complete, will form the basis for a planning application.

The proposed project, which is estimated to cost in the region of €30 million will include:

  • A new Wastewater Treatment Plant and pumping stations to treat wastewater for a population equivalent of 36,000.
  • A pipeline to bring untreated wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and to bring treated wastewater from the plant to the outfall.
  • An outfall pipe to safely discharge the treated wastewater to the Irish Sea or the Avoca River.

Commenting on the announcement of the preferred site, Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management at Uisce Éireann said, ‘The selection of the preferred site for the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant at the Old Wallboard Factory Site, North Quay, Ferrybank marks a key land mark in the delivery of a Wastewater Treatment Plant for Arklow. Uisce Éireann is committed to ending the discharge of untreated wastewater in Arklow, along with the other 44 locations identified in the recent EPA Urban Wastewater Treatment Report. As outlined in the recent Uisce Éireann Business Plan, the utility has earmarked almost €2 billion in improving wastewater quality and capacity up to 2021. Over €30 million of this is due to be spent in Arklow.’

Uisce Éireann will provide a quarterly update on the Arklow project during the period of the Environmental Impact Assessment on the project webpage in addition to updates to local media. Uisce Éireann will continue to liaise and consult with all relevant project shareholders throughout this period.