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Skibbereen’s water still tastes foul despite €28m upgrade, claims Cllr

February 20th, 2021 11:40 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Cllr Carroll said problems with The Cutting still need to be solved.

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A €28M regional water supply scheme that is being carried out in West Cork has done nothing to improve the taste of the water in Skibbereen, according to Cllr Joe Carroll (FF).

Describing the quality of tap water as ‘poor’, Cllr Carroll told his Council colleagues at a meeting of the Western Committee that he had to buy bottled water to make his morning coffee.

‘This is going on with 12-months,’ he said in reference to a new €28m regional water supply scheme by Irish Water. I thought it would get better, but it hasn’t. This is happening in a lot of houses in Skibbereen. It’s something that has to be investigated.’

A spokesperson for Irish Water told The Southern Star the taste in drinking water in the Skibbereen area ‘is possibly due to slight variations in chlorine levels’ a substance that is use to kill harmful bacteria in drinking water.

The spokesperson said the new scheme is to upgrade the water supply for over 7,000 people in and around Skibbereen. It will replace local water supplies that are nearing the end of their lifespan with a new water supply scheme, which will include treatment plants, new pipelines and storage, providing the communities in these areas with a more secure, safe and robust water supply for the future.

Cllr Carroll was highly vocal too when it came to a review of Skibbereen’s flood report. He is adamant that The Cutting – otherwise known as Rossa Road – will never be solved unless there are ground and drainage works on the hill above the culvert that has been installed at The Cutting.

Council engineer, Kevin Costello, confirmed that the main flood relief project in Skibbereen is finished apart from some ‘minor snagging’ and that it proved to be effective in flood situations. ‘Matters outside the scope of the main contract – including The Cutting – are being advanced,’ he added. The Council has appointed consultants RPS to investigate the August 2020 flooding at The Cutting and Cork Rd.

Mr Costello said funding is being provided by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Office of Public Works to carry out the work needed at Cork Road. As for The Cutting, he said, ‘initial documents are under review and further investigations are ongoing.’ Meanwhile, he said, ‘additional mobile pumps have been delivered to Skibbereen.’

Cllr Carroll was adamant, ‘that job will never be 100% successful unless you consult with the landowners. That is where the water is coming from and there is more water now than there was 20 years ago.

‘Residents and business people know it can happen again,’ said Cllr Carroll, who suggested that the water be ‘turned away and made go in another direction.’

The county engineer, Kevin Morey, confirmed that the Council is engaging with the landowner and he described the level of co-operation as ‘good.’

‘Our consultant is producing a report and we will be looking to follow through with the landowner on these recommendations,’ he added.

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