A solution to Old Mervue’s water crisis may be at hand if money from the Galway City Council’s Water Conservation Project can be used to both replace the lead pipes connected to households and solve the problems of leakage in the area.
Work is being carried out in Old Mervue to replace the old lead piping which has contaminated the area’s drinking water supply for several months. The new piping system is of cast iron and will allow clean water flow into the area again.
Despite the new cast iron mains pipe, the pipes connecting this system to that of the houses are still the old lead ones. In order to benefit from the clean water that will flow through the iron pipes, the lead pipes have to be removed and replaced.
The Government has indicated it will not be able to provide grants to cover the cost of connecting individual houses with the new mains system. As a result it will have to be done privately and this could cost householders €3-4,000 which many in the area will not be able to afford.
However Fine Gael Cllr Brian Walsh believes he has a solution to this problem. The council’s director of services Ciarán Hayes has indicated to Cllr Walsh that the city council has been allocated €12 million under the Water Conservation Project to keep the city’s pipes in working order and to eradicate leaks.
It is understood that the lead pipes in Old Mervue are leaking badly, causing the loss of a large quantity of water. As such, Cllr Walsh has proposed that part of the €12 million be directed towards a grant scheme whereby families who want to get new pipes can do so.
This would see the lead pipes replaced and save local householders major expense. It would also take care of the leakage occurring in Old Mervue area.
Mr Hayes has now written to the Department of the Environment to seek approval for this scheme and is waiting for a reply.