Athlone Main Drainage Scheme

Uisce Éireann has commenced works to upgrade the sewer network in Athlone.

Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, has commenced works to upgrade the Athlone sewer network. When completed, this project will reduce the risk of sewer flooding in Athlone and address non-compliant sewer overflows into the River Shannon. It will also improve the capacity of the sewer network allowing for current and future population growth.

Currently, there are 18 storm water overflows within the Athlone Town main drainage system. There is frequent out of sewer flooding in the town due to insufficient capacity within the collection system. Additionally, the collection system has insufficient capacity to accommodate future population growth.

The existing overflows spill untreated wastewater into the River Shannon, which is designated as a sensitive area. Athlone Town is one of the locations cited in a European Court Judgement Case against the State for failure to comply with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) regarding the discharge of untreated stormwater into sensitive areas. This project will support a growing population, ensure compliance with the UWWTD and the EPA Wastewater Discharge Licence, and improve and protect the River Shannon.

Ward and Burke Construction Ltd. is delivering the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme on behalf of Uisce Éireann.

In Progress

What are the benefits of this project?

The works carried out as part of this project will:

  • Reduce the risk of overflows and out of sewer flooding through the provision of increased sewer sizes.
  • Improve the water quality in the River Shannon.
  • Increase the capacity of the sewer network allowing for development and population growth in Athlone.
  • Ensure compliance with Irish and EU wastewater legislation.

What is involved as part of this project?

The upgrade works carried out as part of this project will involve:

  • Constructing new pumping stations in Golden Island and Coosan West
  • Installing over 2.8 km of sewer network
  • Decommissioning five existing pumping stations
  • Decommission six existing stormwater overflows
  • Constructing two new stormwater overflows designed to Uisce Éireann standards
  • Connecting the new and existing sewer network together

As part of this project works will take place in the following locations: Golden Island, West Bank (The Quay), West Side, Abbey Road, Coosan West, The Strand, Burgess Park, Payne’s Lane, and two separate tunnelled crossings under the River Shannon.

The new sewers are being installed using tunnelling techniques where feasible to minimise the impact on traffic in the town.

What are the next steps?

Contractor design and mobilisation commenced in January 2023. Shaft preparation works are now underway ahead of tunnelling to install the new sewer pipework, and works are also progressing at the Golden Island compound where a new pumping station and stormwater holding tank are being constructed.

Works on the project are due for completion in late 2025. We will endeavour to keep you updated as the project progresses

Uisce Éireann is continuing to liaise with the Office of Public Works (OPW) on its Athlone Flood Alleviation Scheme Project. We will work together to ensure proper coordination between the OPW’s project and the Athlone Main Drainage Scheme, including ensuring there is minimal impact on the community.

Will there be traffic management in place?

As some works will be required along public roads, the project will require Traffic Management measures. Required traffic management to undertake the works safely will be developed in consultation with Westmeath County Council Roads Department. See details of upcoming works and associated traffic management measure below.

Typical traffic management measures may include temporary traffic lights, stop/go systems, road closures and diversions. Signs will be erected in advance of works commencing to ensure road users are aware of current and upcoming traffic measures.

Local access and emergency access will always be maintained and regular engagement with the community is planned throughout the project duration. We will provide further information on traffic management measures as the project progresses.

Details of upcoming works:

LocationStart Date
Planned WorksTraffic Management
Paynes Lane Monday 25 September
October 2023
Service diversions in this area ahead of shaft construction works Road closure at New Payne’s Lane junction and Golden Island junction. Local and pedestrian access will be provided. See map below
Deerpark Road Site Compound – The Showgrounds Monday 21 August 

December 2023

New pipeline will be tunnelled underground between shaft locations Traffic Management not required as all works taking place offline. Traffic flow as normal
Burgess Park Monday, 03 July 2023 Ongoing Construction of shaft ahead of tunnelling works Traffic Management not required as all works taking place offline. Traffic flow as normal
McQuaid’s Bridge Deerpark
May 2023
November 2023

Construction of shaft adjacent to McQuaid’s Bridge ahead of tunnelling works
Road closure at McQuaid’s Bridge. Diversion routes agreed and signage in place
Golden Island Site Compound January 2023 Ongoing

Continuing temporary cofferdam works ahead of pumping shaft construction works at the Golden Island compound

All works taking place offline, within compound perimeter. Site Signage in place

Stakeholder Engagement:

A dedicated Community Liaison Officer has been appointed for the duration of this project. If you require further information regarding the works, please contact Meghan on or 086 176 1401.