Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme Upgrade

Water Supply Project

Irish Water is investing €28 million on the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme to benefit over 7,000 people.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council is upgrading the Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme is to provide a safe, secure and reliable supply of drinking water. Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS) is currently supplied with drinking water from five separate water treatment plants. At present three of these, namely Drimoleague WTP, Skeagh WTP (near Schull) and Ballinlough WTP (near Leap), are providing inadequate levels of treatment.

Additionally, both Schull high level and Leap supply areas are currently 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. There is currently no treated water storage on Sherkin Island, so the supply is vulnerable to outages. Furthermore, sections of the existing water supply pipes at Drimoleague, Castledonovan, Schull, Leap and Bluid have reached the end of their expected lifespan and require replacement.

In Progress


  • Improve the quality of the water being supplied
  • Ensure a reliable water supply to Skibbereen and the surrounding area
  • Safeguard the water supplies for 7,000 people in the Skibbereen area
  • Increase the security of supply across the scheme
  • Remove Drimoleague, Schull and Leap from the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL)
  • Ensure compliance with current drinking water regulations


  • The existing water treatment plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will be retained and upgraded
  • The existing Drimoleague water treatment plant, Skeagh water treatment plant and Ballinlough water treatment plant will be decommissioned
  • The construction of over 35km of new water mains
  • Construction of new treated water storage reservoirs in Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin

News and Updates

Where will the works take place?

The works proposed as part of this project will take place in the following locations:

  • Ballyhilty Water Treatment Plant
  • Lake Cross Water Treatment Plant
  • Drimoleague/Castledonovan
  • Schull
  • Sherkin Island
  • Bluid

How Are Works Progressing?

  • Construction works are on-going at the Ballyhilty Water Treatment Plant, while upgrades to the Lake Cross Water Treatment Plant schedule to commence in Q2 2020.
  • Works are progressing on several new reservoirs including Drimoleague, Schull and Leap to increase the security of supply for the area. The new reservoir in Sherkin Island is scheduled to commence in Q2 2020.
  • Over 17 km of the 35km of water mains has been laid to date, including over 11 km between Ballyhilty WTP and Drimoleague.
  • Works are scheduled for completion in late 2020.