Irish Water have hosted an event to mark the start of construction on a new pipeline from the Vartry Water Treatment Plant to Callowhill.
The ‘sod turning’ event was attended by Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle and Cathaoirleach of Wicklow Municipal District, Councillor Shay Cullen.
— Andrew Doyle TD (@ADoyleTD) January 22, 2018
The new pipeline, which will replace the current 150-year-old tunnel, was granted planning permission in February 2017 and will look to secure the water supply of 200,000 people in north-Wicklow and south-Dublin.
Speaking at the launch, Andrew Doyle said that the “coming together of Wicklow County Council, Dublin City Council and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council at this event today highlights the importance of a single public utility to manage our water services.”
Councillor Cullen said that he was extremely proud to be associated with the project.
“This is a milestone in the life of the Vartry Water Supply whereby this tunnel replacement will help secure the water supply for north Wicklow and south Dublin,” he said.
The Vartry Water Supply Scheme was first built in the 1860s and consisted of a four kilometre long tunnel under Callowhill which delivered water to north-Wicklow and south-Dublin.
CEO of Ervia Mike Quinn said of the project: “The Vartry to Callowhill tunnel is 150 years old which highlights not only the urgent need to upgrade this critical infrastructure but the size and scale of the challenge faced by Irish Water.
“The replacement of this vital piece of water infrastructure is a priority project for Ervia and Irish Water given its importance in securing safe, reliable drinking water to so many people in north Wicklow, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown and into Dublin city.”
The works are expected to take two years to complete.