Major upgrade works progressing in Skibbereen

Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is progressing major upgrades to the water supply for over 7,000 people in and around the West Cork town of Skibbereen, as well as to the Drimoleague, Castledonovan, Schull, Leap and Bluid areas and Sherkin Island. The Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme will replace local water supplies that are nearing the end of their lifespan with a new water supply scheme, which will include treatment plants, new pipelines and storage, providing the communities in these areas with a more secure, safe and robust water supply for the future.

Currently, both the Schull and Leap water supply areas are vulnerable to outages if there is a burst in the pipe network, or if there are issues at the treatment plants. There is no provision for storage of treated water on Sherkin Island, so the supply there is also vulnerable to outages. Sections of the existing pipeline in Drimoleague, Castledonovan, Schull, Leap and Bluid have also reached the end of their expected lifespan and require replacement. 

What is involved?

EPS Group Ltd., is completing this work on behalf of Irish Water and, having commenced in early 2019, has already completed over half of the new pipeline required, including 11kms between Ballyhilty Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and Drimoleague. Construction works are also underway at Ballyhilty WTP and upgrades to Lake Cross WTP are due to commence in Q2 2020. Works are also progressing on several new reservoirs at Drimoleague, Schull and Leap. These will increase the security of water supply to each area. A new reservoir in Sherkin Island is scheduled to commence in Q2 2020.

All of these works being delivered by EPS Group Ltd. will provide a much improved water supply to over 7,000 customers in the Skibbereen and surrounding areas. The project will allow for underperforming water treatment plants in Drimoleague, Skeagh and Ballinlough, to be decommissioned and replaced by a much more reliable and robust infrastructure. Existing water treatment plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will be retained and upgraded as part of the project.

Water supplies to be removed from RAL

The project will result in the removal of the Schull and Leap water supply schemes from the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL) and ensure compliance of the new Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme with current drinking water regulations. Irish Water is investing €28 million in this project and construction works are due to be complete by the end of 2020.

“This project will provide a robust and reliable water supply to Skibbereen and the surrounding areas in West Cork and provide a platform for social and economic development of these areas well into the future,” said Sean Twohig, Regional Infrastructure Lead with Irish Water.

“We already have much of the work on this project complete and would like to thank the local communities for their cooperation. We would also like to thank our partners Cork County Council, EPS Group and RPS. We will continue to engage with the local communities across the regional scheme, as we deliver the remainder of the project in Drimoleague, Schull Castledonovan, Leap, Bluid, Skeagh, Ballinlough and Skerkin Island.”

More information

For more information visit our Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme Upgrade project page.

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