THE frequency of water breaks at Darrara, near Clonakilty, has been described as ‘mind-boggling’ by a West Cork public representative.
And Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) complained that the Council’s response, which was contained in a quarterly report to the Western Committee of Cork County Council, was merely ‘copy and paste.’
Another local councillor, Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG), estimated that there are between 20 to 25 patches in the road where it was repaired after water breaks and that each break caused a substantial loss of water.
‘We feel we are the forgotten people,’ said Cllr John O’Sullivan, who pointed out that given the high usage of water in the area ‘we are at the most vulnerable end of that scheme.’
The councillor, who is himself a farmer, pointed out: ‘There are farmers who cannot depend on the supply from the main to supply dairy cows in the summertime.’
Describing the situation as ‘critical,’ he said the time had come to spell out to Irish Water that the old pipeline needs to be replaced and that patching is no longer good enough.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said he had logged the issue with Irish Water in January 2017 and he was told by an official that they had received only one complaint about the system.
‘But,’ he said, ‘at that stage there had, in fact, been 14 breaks.’ He said the level of breakages must be more than four breaks per kilometre, which is one of the criteria Irish Water uses for measuring the seriousness of the situation.
Cllr Hayes said: ‘Residents see Council staff fixing the leaks and it is coming back on us.’ He also said the situation has gone beyond a ‘sticky plaster’ response.
‘It is such a huge water main and the amount of water that is lost every time there is a break is appalling – yet Irish Water said it is not bad enough to be made a priority.’
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