A €5 million upgrade to water pipes in the Ballina and Knockmore area looks set to finally get the green light.
Contracts for the major water mains rehabilitation scheme are to be signed either today (Friday ) or Monday, Irish Water has confirmed.
Homes and businesses on the Foxford road out of Ballina towards Knockmore, Rehins, Cloghans, and Ardagh, have been hit with regular water outages and poor water pressure in recent days and weeks because of the decrepit state of the water pipes in the area.
Former Environment Minister Phil Hogan had sanctioned the critical €5 million upgrade as far back as the summer of 2013 but no work was carried out.
Ballina’s Deputy Michelle Mulherin said the significant delays in getting the work started on the ground has been a major source of frustration for the effected local communities. She welcomed news that the project is now edging closer to a start date.
“This is a welcome and overdue development,” she pointed out. “It is important that the contractor gets in on the ground as soon as possible and starts the work.”
Deputy Mulherin appealed to the newly appointed Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly to direct Irish Water to move the project forward as quickly as possible.
“These old pipes urgently need to be replaced,” she continued. “The problem is having a significant adverse impact on families in their homes and businesses. They are being seriously inconvenienced and under serious pressure. Added to that, it is a terrible waste of water and council resources. Mayo County Council workers are a regular feature on the roadways of these areas out fixing the burst waterpipes.
“It is past time for Irish Water to get on with their business and to permanently fix the leaks in the Ballina and Knockmore areas.”