Fine Gael TD, Alan Dillon, has welcomed confirmation that €100k has been spent since the summer on upgrading the water treatment plant on Achill Island and that another €150k will be spent in early 2021.
Upgrading the plant was not an immediate priority for Irish Water to this point but following water supply notices during the summer months, Deputy Dillon has made representations to the Local Government Minister, Darragh O’Brien, TD, to progress this issue.
Deputy Dillon said: "Over the past few months, a significant amount of improvement works were undertaken costing over €100,000.
"These works mainly related to building resilience at the plant with the provision of emergency flow piping, the provision of turbidity meters, the replacement of flow metres and other associated works.
"In early 2021, another phase of improvements costing €150,000 will be carried-out and a contractor is already in place. Some of the raw materials have to be sourced from mainland Europe which is why they are not happening sooner.
"The early 2021 round of works will involve the installation of clarification aids to aid water flow and quality of the water supply."
"The residents and businesses on Achill Island cannot afford a repeat of what happened during the summer months this year during their peak tourism season.
"Irish Water confirmed that a comprehensive ‘Find and Fix’ project will also be undertaken on the island in advance of the summer season. In addition, Irish Water will also be running a publicity campaign to promote water conservation and encourage residents to avail of their ‘First Fix Free’ scheme.”
"I recognise a significant upgrade will be required for the water works on Achill Island. The details of that more comprehensive phase of works is being developed by technical teams from Irish Water and Mayo County Council so that financial, legal and planning requirements can be fully determined.
"This further phase of works will be substantially more expensive than the works completed to date and those to be undertaken in early 2021.”
"I am advised by the Local Government Minister that details of what will be required under the future phase of work will be more apparent once the current phase of works are complete and stakeholder engagement will be carried-out during the spring.
"While funding for this phase is not currently provided for within the Irish Water 2020 to 2024 Capital Investment Programme, Irish Water is examining ways of how it may be possible to fund this phase of works.
"I will continue to pursue this important issue with Minister O’Brien and Irish Water. In the interim, I look forward to seeing the current improvement works being completed over the coming months."