Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme will replace local supplies nearing the end of their lifespan

Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, is delivering major upgrades to safeguard water supply in Schull, as part of the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme. Upgrades are ongoing and include the construction of over 10km of trunk main connecting Schull to the Skibbereen Water Supply Scheme, a new treated water storage reservoir in Schull and decommissioning of the old water treatment plant in Skeagh, near Schull.  

This project is part of a multi-million-euro investment by Irish Water to upgrade the water supply to over 7,000 people in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Castledonovan, Schull, Leap, Bluid and Sherkin Island. Once completed, this project will provide a reliable water supply to these parts of West Cork.

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 secure, safe and robust water supply for the future.

Current supply is vulnerable to outages

Currently, the Schull water supply area is vulnerable to outages if there is a burst in the pipe network, or if there are issues at the treatment plant. 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. 

The project commenced in 2019 and includes 35km of new watermains, upgrades to Ballyhilty and Lake Cross water treatment plants and new reservoirs at Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island.  All of these works being delivered by EPS Group Ltd. and will provide a much improved water supply to over 7,000 people in the area. 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.

Why is this needed?

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

“There have been some recent interruptions to customers’ water supply in Schull. We understand the inconvenience when an outage occurs, especially at this busy time of the year, and wish to apologise to all of those impacted by water outages recently in Schull. We want to assure the community in Schull that works are progressing well to deliver a far more secure and robust water supply to the town for the future.”

“We would 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 Sherkin Island.”

More information

For more on projects in Cork and your local area visit our Projects and Plans section.

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