FUNDING has been approved for the first phase of an ambitious €6.1 million programme to upgrade the sewage collection network in Mallow.
Sanctioning the funding for the scheme, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the project would have the dual effect of improving sewage collection in the Mallow area and protecting local water courses, particularly the River Blackwater.
"Given the importance of the scheme locally I will be asking Cork County Council to press ahead with the contract documents for the proposed work with a view to seeking tenders at the earliest possible date," said Minister Hogan.
A department spokesman said that funding for the entire project had been ring fenced and would be released as the scheme progresses.
The project will entail the most comprehensive programme of works ever undertaken on the sewage system in Mallow aimed at addressing the increasing demands placed on the aging network.
The scheme will involve the upgrading of the existing sewage collection system in the town and the elimination of combined storm water overflows from the sewer network. The works will ensure that the Mallow network is fully compliant with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
Local Fine Gael TD Tom Barry welcomed the news, unveiled on Tuesday. "I would like to thank Minister Hogan for sanctioning over €6 million for this scheme at such straightened financial times," said Deputy Barry.
"This is a huge capital project for the Mallow area which, combined with the flood relief plan, represents significant investment from this government into the infrastructure of Mallow town," he added.