€800,000 to bring Westmeath water up to scratch

Over €800,000 in grants has been allocated to Westmeath County Council for the improvement of the county’s rural water schemes.

A total of €820,000 is to be spent on projects aimed at bringing rural water schemes up to standard in line with EU directives, and to provide quality drinking water supplies to all rural consumers and communities.

The details of the 2010 Rural Water Programme block grant allocations were announced by Minister for Housing and Local Services, Michael Finneran, this week.

Over half of the Westmeath allocation, or €450,000 is to provide for work on small public water and sewerage schemes. Some €200,000 will allow the takeover of group water schemes, while €100,000 will pay for the upgrade of group water schemes. An additional €70,000 has been allocated to interim works and to DBO (design-build-operate ) projects.

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Ken Glynn said the allocation would help improve water quality across the county.

“I wish to warmly welcome this allocation, which is vital in rural Ireland to help ensure we continue to have the finest water quality available, particularly in rural communities throughout Westmeath,” he said.

A total of almost €85 million was allocated to county councils across the country under the Rural Water Programme this week. An additional €8 million has been earmarked for remedial works to public water supplies identified by the EPA as having potential quality issues.

While acknowledging the progress that has been made in upgrading sub-standard group water supplies around the country, Minister Finneran reminded local authorities that they have been given powers to take decisive action against schemes that are not compliant with drinking water standards.

The Rural Water Programme is funded under the National Development Plan 2007-2013 with assistance from the European Regional Development Fund.

The €15m for small public water and sewerage schemes will allow local authorities to carry out works to help ensure compliance with drinking water quality standards and avoid pollution threats.

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