E60m for South Kildare water network

More than E60 million has been allocated to South Kildare’s water infrastructure over the next three years.
The funding is part of a nationwide Water Services Investment Programme announced by the Minister for the Environment John Gormley this week and aims to bring Ireland into line with EU standards.

Work on the wastewater treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace, the network upgrade of the Athy Sewerage Scheme and the waste water treatment plant at the River Barrow Abstraction scheme will all start in the next two years.

A total of E3.5m was allocated to the treatment plant at Ballymore and work is expected to start later this year.

The River Barrow Abstraction Scheme was allocated E55.4m, E25.m for the wastewater treatment plant, n1.4m for the Bagenalstown Lock upgrade and E18m and E11m for the network itself. The scheme will commence this year.

According to FF Kildare South Deputy Sean Power, this infrastructure development is of huge importance to Kildare in terms of job creation and it reduces the county’s dependency on Dublin for its water.

“The River Barrow Abstraction Scheme is very important for the region for a number of reasons. Firstly the system will provide 40 per cent of Kildare’s water supply. This means we are taking more control of our water needs and it will reduce our dependency on Dublin. So we are no longer reliant on Dublin for our water supply,” he said.

He also noted the major employment aspect of these projects, the environmental aspects and planning implications of certain proposed developments that were turned down because of water reasons.

“It will create hundreds of jobs and it is very welcome in these difficult times,” Deputy Power added.

Meanwhile the network upgrade of the Athy Sewerage Scheme, which was allocated E500,000 by the programme, commenced this week, and is expected to run until August.

The project entails the relining of damaged or defective foul sewers in the town. According to the council, it is expected that disruption to traffic in the town will be minimal as a portion of the work will be required to be carried out during night time hours; work on Leinster Street, Emily Street and Offaly Street.

It is understood the work involves minimal excavation of roads or footpaths.

According to town engineer Diarmuid Donohue, defects in the system were highlighted some five years ago including cracked pipes, leakage of wastewater and infiltration of ground water.

He stressed there was not a public health risk but noted over the years many residents and businesses complained about the foul smell. He welcomed the investment of funds to the programme and the quick commencement of the project.

Residents in the affected areas are due to receive a letter from Athy Town Council outlining the works and possible disruption, according to the engineer.

By Lisa Deeney, 21 April 2010

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