A drought-stricken community in Cork has been told its fight to get a decent water supply is nearly at an end.
The water-supply system in the village of Kildorrery has become so poor in recent years that many households have had to endure a trickle and families have had to go to relatives in neighbouring villages to avail of showers.
Restaurants have been badly hit and had to close on occasion, while a hairdresser has often had to rely on a churn of water to wash her clients’ hair.
Archaic pipes have been breaking on a regular basis, the local reservoir has leaks, and water pressure is extremely poor, especially in elevated areas.
The dire situation was first highlighted by county councillors as far back as September 2013.
A few months later, the council got some money to put in replacement pipes, but was later told by Irish Water the project was not a priority, which caused fury in the village. Many locals threatened that they would not pay their water bills.
Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF), who had been pushing the case for villagers, met with Irish Water representatives a few days ago and finally got written assurances from the utility company that it was going to do something about the problem.
In a letter to Mr O’Flynn, the company said it had reviewed an ‘assets needs brief’ it had received from the county council and had made new recommendations to address the situation.
Irish Water said it will build a new reservoir for the village that will lead to increased pressure, especially in higher areas. It will now carry out detailed design work on the project and some network configuration.
Irish Water said it would take three to six months to carry out the design works and obtain planning permission. A contractor will then be appointed and construction could be completed late this year or early in 2016.
Mr O’Flynn said he was delighted that after a long fight, the people of Kildorrery would eventually get a modern water supply.
“I am assured the work will not only meet the present needs of the village but future development there as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, a town which has had its flood-relief and sewerage schemes postponed will have some patching done on its potholed streets, even though they will eventually be torn up again.
Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Alan Coleman (FF), confirmed yesterday that a contractor would be brought in shortly to Bandon to tar some of its streets, which are in a bad state of repair.
The council had put re-tarring on hold because a major flood-prevention scheme and sewerage treatment scheme, by the OPW and Irish Water, respectively, were supposed to get under way shortly.
It emerged last week that the flood-relief scheme was being held up indefinitely due to a High Court action and the sewerage scheme was being delayed for several months as Irish Water had decided at the last minute to redesign it. It now wants to pump sewage and rainwater through one system into the treatment plant.
Mr Coleman said his office had been in contact with OPW Minister Simon Harris to discuss the potential fall-out from the High Court case. He said he had received indications that Mr Harris was prepared to meet a delegation from the council, which he hoped would take place shortly.
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