€500k bill to fix damage to water services

The Mayo County Council was left with a €500,000 bill for repair works to water and sewerage systems in the county following the severe weather over the Christmas period. The extent of the work the council had to do in emergency repairs and the costs involved was revealed at a Water Supply and Sewerage SPC this week, by Conrad Harley, acting senior engineer with Mayo County Council.

Mr Healy told the meeting that Mayo County Council on average produces 60 million litres of water a day, with 30 million litres coming from Lough Mask each day. That water supplies 33,000 private households and 10,000 non domestic customers in the county. At the coldest point during the cold snap the temperature dropped to -16 degrees causing a very deep frost, and on December 27. We witnessed a 26 degree swing in temperatures which saw a number of problems arise, the most dramatic of them occurring in Achill where consumption levels jumped by 150 per cent.

Mr Healy explained the council had to deal with 30 major bursts on the public network, repairs to 600 water control units, and more than 1,000 leaks around the county. The biggest burst the council had to fix occurred on January 27 at around 6am in Partry on a pipe from the Lough Mask line which was feeding into the main arterial line into Castlebar, and in the six hours it took to fix it and get it under control seven million litres of water was lost.

Mr Healy told the meeting that by January 1 the council had all of the problems around the county well under control, however he said it would be another four to six weeks before the water supply levels would be back to where they were before the severe weather. Mr Healy told the meeting the council had submitted a claim to the Department of Environment for the €500,000 it had to spend and was waiting to hear from the department.


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