Irish Water progress in County Wexford

By Dan Walsh

The latest EPA Urban Wastewater Treatment Report for 2021 recognises the ongoing progress being made by Irish Water in upgrading Ireland’s public wastewater infrastructure while also highlighting the need for continued investment in our essential wastewater services. 

Since 2014 when Irish Water assumed responsibility for public water services, 60% of raw sewage discharges by volume have been eliminated through targeted investment in new sewerage infrastructure where none existed previously, and we are on target to eliminate nearly all of the remainder by 2025. 

In Wexford, investment in wastewater infrastructure in Duncannon, Arthurstown and Ballyhack has already led to improvements in water quality in the Barrow, Nore, Suir estuary, while also supporting housing and economic development in these areas. 

Irish Water, worked in partnership with Wexford County Council, to end discharge of raw sewage from Arthurstown, Ballyhack and Duncannon. Works commenced in 2021 and this €12.8 million investment involved the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in Arthurstown which will also serve Ballyhack and Duncannon. The project is complete. SISK are carried out works on behalf of Irish Water.


Irish Water, working in partnership with Wexford County Council, plan to deliver a sewage treatment scheme to serve the Kilmore Quay area. Sewage currently entering the Kilmore Quay public sewer network is discharged without treatment to the Eastern Celtic Sea. The discharges are close to Kilmore Quay Harbour and Marina, amenity waters and the Ballyteigue Burrow Nature Reserve. Works commenced in mid-2022 and project is due for completion in 2024.

Irish Water’s targeted programme of investment in existing wastewater infrastructure is also reaping benefits for communities around the country. The building of new treatment plants and upgrading of existing ones has led to continued improvements in the quality of receiving waters. Compliance rates with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive remain strong at 93% of plants – up from just 81% in 2015. 

Michael Tinsley from Irish Water concluded; “The scale of delivery of this critical infrastructure is unprecedented: last year we invested €367 million in Ireland’s wastewater – the highest ever in a single year – and we are on track to increase that further over the coming years as we strive to deliver best in class wastewater services and infrastructure for Ireland now and in the future.”

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