Essential project will benefit more than 7,000 people in West Cork by providing safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply

Irish Water, in partnership with Cork County Council, is working to provide a safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply for over 7,000 people in West Cork by upgrading the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS).

This project will lead to significant improvements in the water supply for customers in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap, Sherkin Island and surrounding areas.

Irish Water has recently submitted an application for a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire lands and wayleaves needed to carry out this essential project.

Three treatment plants currently supplying Skibbereen are on EPA’s Remedial Action List

Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme is currently supplied with drinking water from five separate Water Treatment Plants. At present three of these treatment plants, namely Drimoleague, Skeagh (near Schull) and Ballinlough (near Leap), are providing inadequate levels of treatment and, as a result, are included on the EPA’s Remedial Action List.

Some areas served by the Schull and Leap supplies are vulnerable to supply outages in the event of a burst on the network or in the event of source or treatment issues at the plants. At present there is no treated water storage on Sherkin Island, so the supply is vulnerable to outages.

The existing water treatment plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will be retained and upgraded to become the sole sources of water, replacing the existing treatment plants in Drimoleague, Skeagh and Ballinlough. This will provide a secure, safe and reliable source of drinking water that complies with Drinking Water Regulations.

Increased security of supply to customers

The project also involves the construction of approximately 40km of new water mains to service new reservoirs in Schull, Leap, Drimoleague and Sherkin in order to provide increased security of supply to customers.

Gerry O’Donnell, Irish Water’s Regional Infrastructure Lead, commented “We are pleased to be progressing this important project, which will lead to a marked improvement in the quality and reliability of the drinking water supply for people in Skibbereen, Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin Island. By upgrading the treatment infrastructure across the region, we will be able to provide much greater security of supply, reduce disruption to customers and also facilitate the removal of supplies from the EPA’s Remedial Action List.”

Cork

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