Friday 24 November 2017

Dublin’s water plant should have ‘20pc more capacity’ – engineer

Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

The main water treatment plant which supplies Dublin’s running water “should have 20 per cent more capacity” than it does, an engineer has warned.

Conor McCarthy, director of Jennings O’Donovan and Partners Consulting Engineers in Sligo said that as a capital city, Dublin should have “more headroom” with its water supply.

“There should be more headroom available, there should be more capacity there… so that [engineers] can work their way through these challenges,” he told RTE Radio’s Morning Ireland.

“What we really need is a plan that’ll provide a separate source and have sufficient water for Dublin in the next 50 years.”

He said Ireland is “building up problems for ourselves” by not putting major funding into water supply.

International experts have yet to find a solution to the baffling problem surrounding the different "characteristics" of the water entering the plant at Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare.

Struggling restaurants and pubs have been compromised across Dublin and parts of Wicklow and Kildare, as a result of the water rationing this week.

In relation to getting a new source of water for the busy Dublin and eastern region from the River Shannon Mr McCarthy said, the authorities must look at what’s sustainable.

“You have to look at what’s the sustainable source”, even though there “may be issues regionally and locally”, he said.

He said the difficulty for engineers now working around the clock to solve the current water crisis is that “it’s a live situation”.

He praised engineers for keeping up water supply on a continual basis, while the problem is being investigated.

However, he warned: “These issues are happening all the time around the country.”

“Raw waters can be very complex and very complicated and are not always very easy to treat.”

He said the characteristics of water can change “because of algae blooms or it can change because of underground collapses.”

Normally the production facilities for the Dublin region deliver around 530 million litres of clean water a day.

However, the volume was reduced by 100 million litres due to the problems at Ballymore Eustace.

Irish Independent

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