Irish Water awards contract for Vartry WTP upgrade to Veolia

Irish Water has awarded the contract for the design, construction and commissioning of a new water treatment plant at the existing Vartry reservoir site to Veolia Water Ireland Ltd.

Once completed, the upgrade will secure the long-term future of the water supply for 200,000 people in Wicklow and south Dublin and ensure it meets all drinking water standards.

The construction of the new water treatment plant is part of a €200 million investment in the Vartry Water Supply Scheme. Construction of the plant is due to begin later this year and is expected to be completed in 2020.

The Vartry Water Supply Scheme was originally constructed in the 1860s. A major feat of engineering for its time, the scheme was developed by Dublin Corporation to provide a safe and reliable drinking water supply to the region and helped to reduce outbreaks of water borne disease such as cholera.

Over 150 years on and the Vartry Water Supply Scheme is in urgent need of improvement and is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List (RAL), which identifies water supplies that are in need of improvement to comply with drinking water regulations.

The planned upgrade will ensure the plant meets all drinking water standards and will remove the water supply from the RAL while ensuring a safe and sustainable drinking water supply that complies with national and European drinking water standards.

Geoff O’Sullivan, project manager with Irish Water, said: The upgrade of the Vartry Water Supply Scheme has been a priority for Irish Water since the utility took over the responsibility for water services in 2014.

“I am pleased to confirm that a contract has been awarded to commence work on this vital project which will replace the ageing plant, with a modern facility safeguarding the water supply for 200,000 people in Wicklow and south Dublin.

“The scheme has had no major upgrade since it was built 150 years ago and is in urgent need of this investment.

“Ensuring all communities have access to a safe and secure water supply that meets all drinking water regulations is at the heart of the work that we carried out.

“The construction of a new water treatment plant at the existing Vartry reservoir site is the next phase in a wider investment project in the scheme, which also includes the construction of a new 4km pipeline from Callow Hill to the Vartry Water Treatment Plant and covering the treated drinking water storage reservoir at Stillorgan.

“The investment in the scheme ensures that the people of Wicklow and south Dublin have a drinking water supply that meets all drinking water regulations that safeguards public health for generations to come.”

Irish Water has also committed to providing a compensation flow of 5 million litres per day into the River Vartry, which will protect the ecology of the river during periods of low flow. The volume of water abstracted will be the same level as it has been over the last 150 years.

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News