7 October 2021
By Tom Collins
21 additional wastewater treatment plants have been selected for upgrade as part of the Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme. This follows the announcement of 15 projects earlier in the summer and forms part of Irish Water’s commitment to supporting growth and development in local towns and villages throughout the country, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.
Working in partnership with Local Authorities, this investment in the local wastewater infrastructure will provide additional capacity for the development of new homes, while ensuring that wastewater continues to be treated to an appropriate standard.
In Cork, new wastewater treatment plants will be upgraded in four locations including Ballineen/Enniskean, Belgooly, Ballinspittle, and Castlemagnier. This follows the announcement of projects in Killumney and Killeens already this year.
Irish Water has announced these projects now to enable Local Authorities to make plans on housing and development into the short and medium term supporting their regional and local development plans.
Margaret Attridge, Regional Operations Manager for Irish Water, said: “The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien recently announced the Housing for All plan and this is one of Irish Water’s key initiatives in supporting the delivery of this plan. Irish Water is able to confirm that the green light has been given for these projects which will improve treatment capacity in these small towns and villages. This will unlock growth and development in these areas by ensuring the treatment infrastructure is in place to meet the needs of the towns and villages.
“Irish Water put this unique programme in place and allocated funding having identified the need to support growth in smaller towns and villages. The projects were selected following detailed consultation with Local Authorities to identify and prioritise areas for investment. We would also like to thank local councillors across the country of their engagement with us on highlighting the areas most in need.”
The announcement was made possible after Irish Water’s planning team finalised their reviews of all submissions with a focus on the right sized projects for the right town or village at the right cost. The project will now continue through the next stages including design, detailed planning, procurement and approvals. Further updates on the budget and timelines for delivery will be provided in due course. Looking forward, Irish Water anticipates that this programme will continue in the next capital investment programme delivering further upgrades to cater for growth.
Irish Water is responsible for public water and wastewater infrastructure and is committed to providing a safe and reliable water supply, protecting the environment and supporting the growth of homes and businesses. The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer network will require a multi-billion euro investment programme over many years. Irish Water is investing €5.2 billion in the period from 2020-2024 in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure.
Details of the current Capital Investment Plan and planned investments in each county will be published in the coming weeks.