Water breakages have villages at breaking point

February 21st, 2020 8:02 PM

By Jackie Keogh

(Photo: Clare Keogh)

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TWO more water breakages have brought the villages of Ballinhassig, Halfway, and Five Mile Bridge to their knees.

That’s according to Cllr Aidan Lombard, a Fine Gael member of the Carrigaline Municipal District, who said: ‘These villages can’t take it anymore.’

The councillor said he was frustrated because in April of 2019 he received confirmation from Irish Water it had ‘approved’ a 4.7km watermains from Ballinhassig to Five Mile Bridge and on to Ballygarvan Village.

It was indeed 10 months ago, that a spokesperson for Irish Water confirmed that the watermain would be included ‘in the next tranche of mains replacement due to be handed over the Leakage Reduction Programme Contractor at the end of April.’

The spokesperson did, however, say there was ‘no timeline for construction,’ but Cllr Lombard said they were given an indication that the works were imminent.

April wasn’t the first time Cllr Lombard had raised the issue. The year 2019 started out with one of the most contentious Western Committee meetings ever. It took place in County Hall on January 21st Cllr Lombard was just one of the councillors who were – quite literally – apoplectic about the lack of progress in relation to a whole range of Irish Water projects.

Cllr Lombard pointed out that it was in 2016, that he first received confirmation that the sum of €1,175,000 had been approved to renew 4.7km of watermain from Ballinhassig Village to Ballygarvan Village.

He was told that the scheme would be completed in 2017 but it ‘vanished off the radar’ and since then, there have been more than 20 water breaks in the area.

According to Cllr Lombard, the cost of each break has been estimated at €25,000, which amounts to a total of €500,000 in wasted resources.

The most recent breaks prompted the councillor to raise the issue once again saying: ‘Someone needs to be held accountable for this constant delay.’

He called on Irish Water officials to meet local councillors, business people and residents and to set out ‘a timeline for a permanent solution.’

Cllr Lombard said: ‘It’s unfair to expect businesses that are employing around 100 people to try and work through these adverse conditions. Because when they have no water, they have to close their businesses.’

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