3-2-16: UPGRADE OF VARTRY WATER SUPPLY SCHEME WELCOMED

Minister of State Simon Harris has welcomed plans to upgrade the Vartry Water Supply Scheme.

The Vartry water supply provides drinking water for one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The supply area stretches from Roundwood through Wicklow, to South Dublin, and serves around 220,000 customers including a number of major businesses.
The scheme is now in need of urgent investment and modernisation, give that it was first built over 150 years ago and to date has not had any major upgrade.
Planned upgrade works include improvements at the Vartry Reservoir and Vartry Water Treatment Plant and a new connection between Vartry and Callowhill to replace the existing 4km long tunnel. Detailed engineering designs are being prepared and studies are currently underway to assess any potential impacts the proposed works could have on the environment. The environmental studies will help to guide the engineering designs for the project and all assessments will be made publicly available.
As a result of the upgrade, plans are also underway to extend the Vartry scheme to secure the water supply to areas of mid Wicklow including Rathdrum, Aughrim, Annacurra, Avoca, Ballinaclash, Roundwood, Laragh, Annamoe, Redcross, Conary and Glenealy. These areas are currently served by water sources which have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as being at risk of failure to meet the current drinking water regulations.
Commenting on this development, Minister Harris stated: “I very much welcome the plans which have been put in place to upgrade the Vartry Water Supply which is in much need of modernisation.
“A planning application for the works at Vartry will be submitted to Wicklow County Council this spring and local residents and the general public will have the opportunity to give their views. It is also intended that a number of local information days will be arranged to explain the proposed upgrades.
“I am pleased that Irish Water considers this project to be a top priority, given its importance to so many people in Wicklow and surrounding areas,” concluded Minister Harris.