Forget repairs to Old Mervue’s lead pipes and replace them says Walsh

The Galway City Council should not use valuable funds to repair leaks to Old Mervue’s contaminated lead pipe system, but use it to help families connect to the clean new cast iron pipes, according to Fine Gael Cllr Brian Walsh.

The Galway City Council is putting in a new cast iron pipe system throughout the estates of Old Mervue. However this will result in two pipe systems in the area - the old lead pipe system which is contaminating the water and the new cast iron system which will deliver clean water.

In order to get clean water into the houses, each house will have to be individually connected to the cast iron pipe system. This is expensive and despite requests the Department of the Environment said it will not be in a position to fund such work.

However the city council has €12 million set aside for water conservation initiatives. Cllr Walsh has suggested to the director of services Ciarán Hayes that part of this money be used to set up a grant scheme to help families in Old Mervue connect to the new system.

Mr Hayes has written to the Department of the Environment seeking approval for such a scheme and is awaiting a response.

However Cllr Walsh was aghast this week when he heard that part of the €12 million was being used to repair leaks to the lead piping system in Old Mervue.

“That is a waste of money,” he told the Galway Advertiser. “What is the point or repairing leaks to a system that contaminates the water anyway? It is crazy. That money should be put into a grant aid for each household to be able to connect into the cast iron system. When all are connected in, the lead piping system will become redundant.”

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