A DEPUTATION of homeowners from Dunmanway, who were flooded in August, have called on Cork County Council to install a submersible pump in a local lake.
One of the homeowners, Con O’Leary, suggested that the installation of a minimum 10-inch automated submersible pump, as well as the widening of a culvert, would prevent a repeat of flooding at Chapel Street.
Another resident, Mavourneen Smith, described her distress at the flooding on August 16th last and pointed out that the problem first began in 1959.
She expressed her concern that a proposal to build 32 new houses at Spa Road would exacerbate the flood risk in the area.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Deirdre Kelly tabled a motion at a recent West Cork Municipal District meeting in Dunmanway, calling for the replacement of a manual pump in the lake with a submersible pump, which would kick in automatically in the event of a flood, and Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) supported the motion.
The local councillors requested that a letter outlining their concerns, and their request for an automatic pump, be submitted to the Office of Public Works immediately.
Cllr Hurley was also critical of the fact that there are ‘not enough outdoor workers employed by the Council and this has resulted in drains not being properly maintained.’
The Council’s senior executive engineer, John Ahern, said the local authority is currently in discussions with a consulting engineer and that a flood analysis will examine all contributory aspects, including the catchment area, the existing culverts and the drainage network, as well as assessing the effectiveness of the existing six-inch pump.
He said that report would inform the Council about how best to proceed with future flood relief measures.
Cllr Kelly was of the opinion that regardless of the findings of the report, or the change in weather patterns, the existing pump has outlived its usefulness.
She said: ‘The pump depends on Council staff to fuel and start it in the event of flooding’ and she said this is not sustainable.
She claimed the residents would accept nothing less than a pump that would automatically ‘kick in’ when the water level on the lake rises above a certain level.
Cllr Hurley noted that Chapel Street is due to be resurfaced in the coming weeks and, as part of these works, a new and bigger culvert would be installed.
He said he hoped the larger culvert would offer sufficient capacity to take the large volumes of water that crosses under the street.
Cllr Hurley made the point that an automatic instrument would do a better job of pumping the rising water from the lake into the nearby Bandon River and that this would prevent further flooding on the street.