Galway RAL reduced from 13 schemes in 2016 to 1 in 2018 following extensive upgrade and investment works by Irish Water

The Williamstown water treatment plant has been decommissioned following a €10 million investment by Irish Water which has seen the extension of the Lough Mask water supply from Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo to Williamstown in Co Galway and Ballinlough in Co Roscommon.

As a result of this investment the old Williamstown water treatment plant has now been decommissioned and the scheme has been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) in the agency’s quarterly update published this week. The works included the laying of 23km of pipeline and the construction of a large pumping station at Ballyhaunis delivering water to Williamstown via a new reservoir at Garranlahan.

This brings to just one the number of Co Galway schemes now on the EPA’s to-do list, a big drop from 13 schemes in 2016 and is testament to the level of investment Irish Water has delivered in Co Galway. Nine boil water notices have also been lifted on water supplies in Co Galway in the last two years.

The Williamstown scheme was on the RAL because it was at risk for THM formulation due to the fact that the necessary barriers were not in place. This risk has now been reduced and the almost 1,000 customers served from this supply are now enjoying clean and secure water from the Lough Mask supply.

The remaining Galway scheme on the RAL is the Ballinasloe Regional Water Supply Scheme and works are expected to be completed in Ballinasloe by the end of this year.

THMs, or Trihalomethanes are chemicals formed by the reaction of naturally occurring dissolved organic material and chlorine which is used for disinfection in order to protect against pathogenic bacteria.

Irish Water has put in place the first national THM plan and a prioritised programme of investment to address all inadequacies in drinking water parameters including THMs. By 2021 the utility plans to reduce the number of schemes on the RAL to zero with an investment of €327 million in upgrading water supplies at risk from THMs. 

Welcoming this latest RAL update Irish Water’s Regional Compliance Specialist Pat O’Sullivan said: “The publication of the latest RAL update is a confirmation of the focus and dedication of Irish Water and Galway County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county. Works are advancing on the Ballinasloe scheme which we are confident of delivering in the coming months.”

The RAL is updated quarterly by the EPA for those water supplies where investment in treatment processes is required. Irish Water has a prioritised programme of investment for all schemes on the RAL.

Galway, Roscommon

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