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Prize €2.7m water tower leaking 'like a sieve'

A LANDMARK water tower completed in 2007 at a cost of almost €3m has not been used because it is leaking.

Fingal County Council yesterday confirmed that the Ballycoolen Water Tower could not be used because of a "number of leaks" which were being fixed.

The 34-metre high tower won the LAMA (Local Authority Members Association) prize for the best Civil Engineering Project in 2008, and is designed to hold five million litres of water.

It was built as part of the Leixlip-Ballycoolen water supply scheme which included a 100 million litre reservoir, administration building and chlorination building which cost a total of €23.1m. The cost of the tower was €2.7m.

Apart from the tower, all other elements of the scheme were in service, the council said.

"The water tower, although fully constructed, has yet to be accepted by Fingal County Council as it does not comply with the requirements of the contract," a spokeswoman said.

"Although the tower appears to hold water as it was designed to do, a number of leaks are visible on the outer wall.

"Since late 2007 the contractor has attempted unsuccessfully to fix this problem.

"An alternative solution is now being developed and remedial works should begin in June. Assuming this work is successful, the council expects to bring this water tower into full service by the end of 2010."

The delay was criticised by Fine Gael Councillor Kieran Dennison. He said the project was designed to provide security of supply and boost water pressure to Co Meath, north Dublin and parts of the city and claimed it was "leaking like a sieve".

"This is not new technology; water towers have been built for over 150 years," he said.

The council denied the tower was leaking like a sieve.

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