Septic tank leak threat to drinking water

Leaking septic tanks on the outskirts of a town are a threat to drinking water supplies and the houses they serve should be connected to the mains sewer system, especially as €400,000 in development charges was collected to do the job.

That’s the claim by a number of Cork county councillors who’ll tell top Irish Water officials at a face-to-face later this month that the utility company had received the money for the project from the now defunct Skibbereen Town Council and it must address the situation.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) told a meeting of the council’s western division yesterday that people living at Coronea, just outside Skibbereen, were promised some time ago that they would be hooked up to the main system.

The money was transferred to Irish Water after the town council was abolished and he claimed the company hadn’t responded favourably to a business case for the hook-up, even though there was an obvious pollution threat.

“We’re entitled to know where they [Irish Water] now intend to spend the money. This was a shocking thing to happen to these people,” Cllr Carroll said.

Cllr Pat Murphy, chairman of the council’s western division, said it wasn’t fair that these people were now left in the lurch when money had been collected for the project.

Irish Water is not only in charge of delivering drinking water but also disposing of sewage, and he asked if its priorities would be urban areas because there was more of a profit from larger population bases.

“That’s my fear that they will concentrate on large urban areas because they will get a larger return on their investment,” said Cllr Murphy.

County engineer David Keane and assistant county manager James Fogarty said the council would officially make a written request on behalf of the people of Coronea.

Cllr Carroll said he would also raise the issue with Irish Water bosses when he meets them with other councillors at the Silver Springs Hotel, Cork on October 30.

“They [Irish Water] have an obligation to spend the development contributions collected [€400,000] on these people. They’re also saying there isn’t an issue with pollution of drinking water. I’d like them to come down and take a look for themselves. These people are being badly treated,” said Cllr Carroll.


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