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Minister O’Brien approves capital commitment for significant investment of almost €90 million by Irish Water in two key projects to increase resilience and security of treated water supply in the Greater Dublin Area

Published on Wednesday, 23 Dec 2020
Minister Darragh O'Brien

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD along with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has approved capital commitments for investment of almost €90 million between the Saggart Resevoir Project and Ballycoolen Trunk Watermain Project for commencement in 2021.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “Both of these Irish Water projects will improve the security and resilience of treated water supply to the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). Irish Water will now be able to proceed with works for both projects early in 2021 with construction expected to take over two years to complete. These projects will also contribute towards increasing the capacity to cater for residential and commercial development across the Dublin region.

The Saggart Resevoir Project includes the design and construction of a new 100 million litres (ML) covered treated water reservoir at the existing Saggart Waterworks (originally constructed in 1951) to store water supplied from Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant. The delivery of strategic storage at Saggart is one of three measures identified by Irish Water to meet the increasing demands within the GDA in advance of a long term water supply solution, the other two being to transfer spare capacity in the Srowland Water Treatment Plant in Athy to the GDA, and to deliver leakage reduction throughout the region. Some 600 ML/day of treated water currently produced in the GDA Water Network meets existing demand levels to supply approximately 1.5m customers in Dublin and the surrounding areas. However, there is limited headroom capacity available - only c. 3% (c.18ML/d) and at times of water stress (e.g. drought) this limited capacity can be reduced further.

The Ballycoolen Trunk Watermain Project involves the design and construction of a new 9km trunk watermain providing additional pipeline capacity between the strategic storage capacity at Ballycoolen Reservoir (which stores treated water sourced from the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant) and Swords.

Minister O’Brien added, “This project will improve security of supply and provide greater network resilience in the GDA. It will mean an increase in the capacity of the existing strategic network to cater for existing and future residential and commercial development and enable long term social and economic development of the wider Fingal area where I am acutely aware of the challenges which exist,” he concluded.