Irish Water is set to invest almost €22 million improving the water supply for 65,000 households and businesses in north Dublin.

The works, which will start in February and are due for completion by the end of 2020, will mean less unplanned outages around Howth, Malahide and Balbriggan.

Irish Water says the upgrade will include new pumping stations and 15km of new trunk water mains – though it warns of unavoidable disruptions during installation.

Irish Water spokesperson William McKnight said the upgrade “will ensure that customers in Howth, Malahide and Balbriggan will have a more reliable and secure supply which will result in fewer disruptions to their water supply”.

A total of €21.7 million will be spent by the utilities company, working in partnership with Fingal County Council, to upgrade the creaking and outdated network.

A new 6km water main serving Howth will be constructed between the water main connection point at Bayside and Dungriffen reservoir to increase capacity.

Serving Malahide, a new 3km water main will be constructed between Swords and the reservoir at Seamount to increase capacity and meet supply demands.

A new 6km water main serving Balbriggan will be constructed from Jordanstown Reservoir to Kilsough Reservoir.

Welcoming the announcement, Fine Gael Senator James Reilly said network improvements would make a huge difference to residents who have had to cope with outages and low water pressure for too long.

He told Dublin Gazette: “I am particularly pleased to see that Balbriggan will be a town that will gain from this scheme, as it has been an issue I have been highlighting and raising for many years now.”

The council owns 53 acres of industrial land in the north Fingal town which could provide up to 900 jobs once the necessary infrastructure is in place.

A further land bank of 200 acres which is zoned general industry also has huge jobs potential, according to Senator Reilly.

He said: “This is a huge positive for all three areas, but especially an area such as Balbriggan where the current water supply system serves more than 24,000 people.

“With the population of Balbriggan set to rise to 35,000 in a short number of years, this is welcome news.”