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Ballycastle water supply removed from at-risk list following Uisce Éireann upgrade works

Over 360 Uisce Éireann customers in Ballycastle, Co Mayo, are enjoying a better quality and more secure supply of drinking water following works to connect the Ballycastle Public Water Supply to the Ballina-Lisglennon Public Water Supply.

Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Mayo County Council and contractors Source Civil Ltd installed six kilometres of new interconnecting watermains from the existing Lacken Reservoir to the Ballycastle Public Water Supply. The old Ballycastle water treatment plant has now been decommissioned and customers in this area are receiving their water from the Ballina-Lisglennon Public Water Supply. The completion of these essential works has enabled the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove the Ballycastle Supply from its Remedial Action List (RAL).

Explaining further why the Ballycastle PWS was on the RAL Dr Pat O'Sullivan, Uisce Éireann's Compliance Specialist said: "The RAL is a list of at-risk schemes, and customers supplied by the Ballycastle Public Water Supply (PWS) will be happy to know their water is now protected against the risk posed by cryptosporidium.

"The Ballycastle Public Water Supply was put on the RAL because the plant did not provide a barrier against cryptosporidium. The EPA are satisfied that customers on this supply are now receiving fully compliant water."

Project lead for Uisce Éireann, Martin Temple, added: "The decommissioning of the old Ballycastle Water Treatment Plant and the connection of the water supply to the Ballina-Lisglennon Public Water Supply means the people of Ballycastle can now enjoy an enhanced quality of drinking water and improved security of water supply. These works will allow for further population growth and economic development in this area.

"We would like to thank customers who were impacted during these vital upgrade works for their patience and cooperation throughout."

There is now only one Mayo water supply on the RAL - the Newport Public Water Supply which is listed on the at-risk register due to persistent exceedances for pesticides. Uisce Éireann is working with a number of agencies as part of the Newport Catchment Focus Group to pool resources and expertise in a coordinated effort to solve this persistent problem. Agencies such as LAWPRO, Teagasc, the DAFM, and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes have responsibilities that Uisce Éireann does not in terms of working directly with farmers and other groups who could impact on water sources.

That is why the Newport Catchment Focus Group was established so that all relevant bodies who can help solve this issue work together and coordinate efforts to solve the issue. As part of this work a novel community-based project has been launched which will encourage homeowners to go pesticide free in their gardens while farmers will be looking at the benefits of bee keeping in terms of protecting water zones.

Uisce Éireann continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Uisce Éireann would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

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