Contract signed for Lough Talt upgrade but boil notice remains
Irish Water has confirmed that the contract for the upgrade of the Lough Talt water treatment plant has been awarded and works will commence shortly on site with a view to meeting the 2020 deadline for safe drinking water for a vast area of South Sligo affected.
Planning permission was granted for the essential works by Sligo County Council using the imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) process in May and works are now progressing to ensure a safe and secure supply of water will be delivered by the end of 2020.
The current Lough Talt water treatment plant does not provide adequate treatment for protection against cryptosporidium and needs to be upgraded. The water supply is included on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL), because the plant does not provide sufficient protection against cryptosporidium and trihalomethanes (THM).
Padraig Hanly, Irish Water's Regional Lead for Asset Delivery said: "Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the treated water supplied from the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply for the future and would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience they are experiencing due to the current boil water notice. We are delighted that the contract has been awarded and works will commence shortly on site.
"We will work with our contractors, Coffey Water Ltd, to ensure the project is delivered on time and with due regard for all environmental and public health concerns. Public health is our number one priority and it is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice which remains in place." Some 13,000 people are affected including the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bellaghy, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carrowneden, Kilmacteige and Coolaney. The boil water notice also includes consumers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle and Quarryfield.
"The long term solution will be the provision of water from an alternative source and this is also being investigated in parallel to implementing the upgrade to the existing Treatment Plant."