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Irish Water completes a new pipeline from Vartry to Callowhill

  • Irish Water completes new pipeline from Vartry to Callowhill

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Irish Water
As Ireland's national water utility we are responsible for providing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland.

The new pipeline secures and safeguards the water supply for more than 200,000 people in north Wicklow and south Dublin, one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The completion was marked by Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Vance, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, Tony Keohane, Chairman of Ervia, and Eamon Gallen, MD of Irish Water, at an event at the Vartry Water Treatment Plant.

Original Construction

The Vartry Water Supply Scheme was originally constructed in the 1860s and was a feat of engineering for its time. The scheme included a four kilometre long tunnel under Callowhill to deliver water to north Wicklow and south Dublin. A British Pathé archive film shows the opening of the second upper reservoir in from 1923. The tunnel is now in a poor state of repair and at risk of collapse. The works include a new pumping station at the existing Vartry Water Treatment Plant and four kilometres of buried pipeline from Vartry to Callowhill.

Cllr Pat Vance

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Vance, welcomed the completion of the project: “I’m delighted to see the completion of these works, which will secure the water supply for a significant number of residents in north Wicklow. The size and scale of the challenge in replacing 150 year old infrastructure is not to be underestimated. I want to pay tribute to the contractor, Roadbridge and Local Authority staff who delivered this vital project, which will benefit 200,000 people in north Wicklow and across south Dublin, on schedule, and to Irish Water for prioritising investment in this scheme.”


Minister Eoghan Murphy TD

Commenting on the completion of works, Minister Eoghan Murphy TD said: “The infrastructure that makes up the Vartry Water Supply Scheme is amongst the most vital water infrastructure in all of Ireland. The scheme supports a population of 200,000 in north Wicklow and south Dublin, from residents to major businesses, who all depend on this infrastructure for the delivery of a safe, sustainable supply of water. The completion of the Vartry to Callowhill link, as well as other upgrades now underway to the Vartry Water Supply Scheme, will safeguard the water for the future development of this region, sustain existing residents and businesses and also support ongoing economic growth and development.”

Eamon Gallen, MD of Irish Water

Eamon Gallen, MD of Irish Water, said: “The replacement of this vital piece of water infrastructure was a priority project given its importance to so many people in north Wicklow, Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown and other areas of south Dublin. We are investing in Ireland’s water infrastructure to safe guard public health and to support economic growth and development in communities across the country. This significant project builds on the legacy of the scheme constructed in the 1860s and will benefit the lives of those who work, live in north Wicklow and south Dublin. It highlights all our commitment to invest and upgrade Ireland’s ageing water infrastructure to bring it in line with world standards.”

Vartry Water Supply Scheme Upgrades

The construction of the new pipeline is part of a €200m investment in the Vartry scheme which will secure the drinking water supply for the area for decades to come. Upgrades to the Vartry Treatment Plant and Stillorgan Reservoir also fall under the Vartry Water Supply Upgrade Project, and are now under construction.  Once completed, the upgrade will provide a safer, more secure water supply to the people of north Wicklow and south Dublin, and will facilitate removal of the scheme from the Remedial Action List (RAL) maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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