Cllrs float idea of water refill stations

May 11th, 2022 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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WATER refill stations could be installed at festivals and other tourist events in West Cork in a bid to eliminate single use plastics in the area, a meeting heard.

Senior executive officer Ted O’Leary was discussing the latest environment divisional committee report at a meeting of the Western Committee, when he outlined the success of the water refill station at Scoil na mBuachaillí in Clonakilty, which was installed last year and has had 5,306 used refills.

Councillors heard that 31 water refill stations have been installed in schools around the county, with 10 of those in the Western Division. Mr O’Leary said the feedback from the school was that the station has become an important feature of the school and has ‘reinvigorated’ their battle against single use plastic bottles.

Cllr Ross O’Connell (SD) welcomed the roll-out of water refill stations in schools and said Schull Community College has had positive reports too since they got one installed.

‘I think it’s a very simple idea and maybe we could look at rolling them out, especially in busy tourist centres within the division as it’s approaching summer,’ said Cllr O’Connell.

Mr O’Leary said they would be open to looking at extending the refill stations to encompass other areas,

‘We have used temporary ones for example at the National Rowing Centre in Farran and we would be open to trialling ones at festivals or tourist events,’ he said.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said he recently received an email from a student enquiring about getting a water refill station in Skibbereen.,‘People are looking for them and what are the chances of us getting them?’ asked Cllr Carroll.

Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) pointed out that a lot of businesses have refill water stickers on their windows and they allow  people to come in and fill their water bottles.

Senior executive officer Mac Dara Ó h-Icí said they would have to make an application for a connection to Irish Water for the water re-fill stations.

And he pointed that some areas like Kinsale have taps already, which are operational.

‘We can definitely look into it and if members have specific areas then we can look at it. There had been questions, to, over who would pay for the water and monitor the quality of it as well,’ said Mr O h-Icí.

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