€100m down the drain?
THE water crisis has arisen despite a €100m upgrade to the Ballymore Eustace treatment plant.
Dublin City Council has confirmed that the upgrade has just been completed at the plant which was built in the 1920s.
A spokesman for the council said the improvements were to the existing infrastructure at Ballymore Eustace to keep it producing treated water at its current capacity.
The upgrade was not designed to increase the amount of treated water being produced and serving the Dublin area.
Ballymore Eustace produced about 310 million litres of the 550 million litres used in Dublin each day.
The spokesman said the upgrade of the plant was to "keep it operating at its current level of production".
Ballymore Eustace is currently the biggest water treatment plant in the country with more than 20 large treatment tanks.
Don Moore, vice-president of the Irish Academy of Engineering said there was a short-term problem at Ballymore Eustace.
But the longer-term problem was the fact that we only had 1pc extra capacity supply compared to other European countries where 20pc was the norm.
He said the investment in water infrastructure in this country had been "at a very very low level for a very long time" and at a time when the city was expanding.
The investment of €100m at Ballymore Eustace was nothing surprising and the whole water system needed huge investment.
"Why would be surprised at that level of investment?" Mr Moore added. "It was something that we just cannot postpone."
Water treatment was a very complex problem and something the public took for granted. While he was confident Dublin City Council would solve the current problem the supply margin had to be increased in the longer-term.
"The treatment of water is a very expensive commodity indeed," he said.
COLETTE FITZPATRICK: PAGE 31