Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is proposing to upgrade the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme to ensure that the scheme is capable of meeting the current and future demands of the area, while also providing customers with a safe, secure and reliable supply of drinking water.

Approximately 7,000 people in the areas of Skibbereen, Schull, Leap, Bluid, Sherkin Island, Castledonovan and Drimoleague will benefit significantly from the proposed upgrades to the infrastructure.

More specifically, the works proposed for the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme will include the upgrading and expansion of the existing treatment plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross near Skibbereen. The works will also provide additional storage of drinking water at Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island as well as providing for the construction of trunk mains interconnecting Skibbereen to Schull and Drimoleague.

Irish Water’s Gerry O’Donnell commented: “These works will provide a more resilient and robust supply to the area and facilitate the rationalisation of the existing inadequate treatment facilities at Schull, Drimoleague, Castledonovan and Leap.

A planning application and water abstraction order proposal are now being lodged to facilitate the upgrading and expansion of the Ballyhilty Water Treatment Plant.

The proposed works at the Ballyhilty plant provide for new raw water storage tanks, enhanced upgrade and expansion of the treatment facilities for treating drinking water and sludge treatment works. The current abstraction points on the River Ilen at Castledonovan and Ballyhilty will be consolidated to a single point upstream of Ballyhilty Bridge,” added Mr O’Donnell.

This project forms part of Irish Water’s investment plan where over €530 million will be invested in upgrading water services in 2016 to improve the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s recently published Business Plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.


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