Irish Water and Cork County Council met with the community in Cape Clear today to outline plans to address water supply problems on the island. 

Ian O’Mahony, Water Distribution Networks Lead, Irish Water outlined details of the two-phased plan. An investment will be made to improve water supply on the existing network. Once completed, this will reduce the potential for water outages, particularly during the busy summer period. A detailed site investigation has been completed and Irish Water expects to tender for the contract in Q3 2015.

Irish Water has also commenced work on a second major project to identify a new drinking water source and construct a new water treatment plant on the island. This project will be subject to a number of environmental assessments and statutory procedures and it is anticipated to have contracts awarded in mid-2016 and construction underway by Q4 2016.

Addressing the meeting Ian O’Mahony said; “Irish Water is prioritising investment in the network on Cape Clear to address the problems with supply experienced annually on the island during the busy summer tourist season. Last summer, Irish Water and Cork County Council had to transport an emergency supply of water by ferry to the island. This is an unacceptable situation for our customers.”

He continued; “We are proposing to deliver a new water supply network and water treatment plant, with increased storage capacity to ensure there is adequate water supply on Cape Clear in the longer term. It is anticipated that these projects will be delivered over the next couple of years.”

"We are also working on some immediate supply improvements, which should alleviate the water shortage for the upcoming busy tourist season. This includes the recent completion of a new water supply borehole which will immediately improve supply to the reservoir We are here today to outline our long term investment plans to the community in Cape Clear and to advise them of the measures we are putting in place to overcome water shortages that may be experienced in the interim.”

Upgrade of Water Supply Scheme
Irish Water updated the community in Cape Clear on details of the proposed improvements to the water supply network on the island. This includes two separate projects.

1. Replacement of Watermain Distribution Network
The first project will involve the replacement of the entire 11.5km watermain distribution network. This will reduce the current high levels of leakage and burst frequency and ultimately reduce the demand on the existing water storage reservoirs. A reduced demand will place less pressure on the existing supply and limit the potential for water outages. Detailed site investigation works were completed in 2014 and tendering for the construction contract will begin in Q3 2015. Irish Water expects to start construction in Q1 2016 with the works to take approximately 12 months to complete.

2. New Drinking Water Source, Water Treatment Plant and Storage
Irish Water has completed a detailed scoping for a major project to identify a new drinking water source and construct a new water treatment plant on Cape Clear Island. A tendering process for the construction works will commence in mid-2016. A series of surveys and assessments will be required in order to complete the detailed design of the water treatment plant and allow for the completion of statutory requirements, such as planning application and environmental assessments.

The project will also include an upgrade of the existing reservoir site to increase water storage capacity, which will cater for the annual busy summer tourist season. A new rising main to the existing reservoir will also be completed as part of this project. Irish Water anticipates construction to begin in late 2016, subject to completion of the tendering process and all statutory planning and environmental requirements. The project team will continue to engage with the community in Cape Clear and keep them up to date on project progress throughout this process. The project is estimated to take approximately 12 months to complete.


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