Water pipeline to replace 150 year-old tunnel

Irish Water has turned the sod on a €29m project that will replace a 150-year-old tunnel with a new water pipeline that will serve the people of Wicklow and South Dublin.

Originally built in the 1860s, the works at the Vartry Water Supply Scheme will see the 4km-long tunnel replaced by two reservoirs, a water treatment plant, and 40km of trunk mains that deliver water to open storage reservoirs at Stillorgan in Dublin.

Irish Water said the work is needed as the tunnel is now in a poor state of repair, and that the new pipeline will secure and safeguard the water supply to over 200,000 people in one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The outlay is part of a €200m planned investment in water infrastructure in the region.

“Once completed, the upgrades to the pipeline and water treatment plant will ensure that current drinking water standards are complied with and will facilitate removal of the scheme from the Remedial Action List maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Jerry Grant, managing director at Irish Water.

The original tunnel was advocated in the 1860s by physician John Gray MP and developed by Dublin Corporation to boost supply to the city and help eradicate water-borne diseases. Mr Gray received a knighthood for the project.


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