12 April 2019
By Mary Bermingham
Irish Water and Minister of State Jim Daly officially turn the sod to mark start of €28m upgrade to Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme
Minister of State Jim Daly this morning joined Irish Water and Cork County Council in turning the sod to officially mark the start of the €28 million upgrade to the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme.
The project, which is being carried out by EPS, will improve water quality and security of supply for approximately 7,000 people in the areas of Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island.
Welcoming the start of the project Minister of State, Jim Daly, commented “I am very pleased to be here on what is a very important day for Skibbereen and surrounding areas. Providing a secure supply of clean, safe drinking water for residents and the tourists that visit the area every year, is essential to the quality of life and development potential of the area. This €28 million investment in water infrastructure brings very significant benefits to this community now and into the future.”
The Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme area is currently supplied with drinking water from five separate water treatment plants in Ballinlough, Ballyhilty, Drimoleague, Lake Cross and Skeagh.
The water treatment plants in Drimoleague, Skeagh (near Schull) and Ballinlough (near Leap), have inadequate treatment facilities and are consequently included on the EPA’s Remedial Action List – the list of ‘at risk’ water supplies. As a result of the upgrade, these three plants will be decommissioned.
Brian Sheehan, Head of Asset Delivery, Irish Water commented “The upgrade to the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme will address its water quality treatment deficiencies, which will enable the removal of 7,000 people from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL). These works will provide a secure and sustainable supply of quality drinking water to Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island.”
The other two water treatment plants in Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will be retained, upgraded and expanded to become the sole sources of supply for Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme.
The project will also involve the construction of new treated water storage reservoirs in Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin to provide increased security of supply to customers. Existing defective water mains and water mains with insufficient capacity in Drimoleague, Castledonovan, Schull, Leap and Bluid will be replaced.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Patrick Gerard Murphy commented “Cork County Council is pleased to be working in partnership with Irish Water to deliver this essential upgrade to the water infrastructure for our local communities in Skibbereen. The work that is getting underway today will bring very significant benefits to Skibbereen and the surrounding areas for years to come.”