Ballymahon's long wait for water upgrade nears end

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Ballymahon water mains meeting

Member of the public Pat Kilduff who thinks the works will be “very beneficial for the town if they're finished”, with Irish Water's Liam Brett and Derek Duignan at last week's drop-in information day

Business owners in Ballymahon were encouraged to drop in to Cooney's Hotel last Thursday for information on the upcoming waterworks that will be carried out in the town.

Irish Water is working with Longford County Council to invest in the water network in Ballymahon which will improve the security of the water supply for customers, by reducing leakage by several millions of litres of water per year and avoid future bursts along Main Street.

“We're upgrading 3km of water mains in the town to reduce the number of bursts and improve the reliability of the water supply,” explained Derek Duignan of Irish Water.

“We know the pipes are old, and we'll be removing cast iron and other old pipework to improve the quality of water in the town.

“We'll also be removing shared water supplies and giving each house their own individual water supply to ensure ease of access.”

The Ballymahon Water Mains Replacement Project is part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme, which, over the next four years, will reduce the high level of leakage across the country by fixing or replacing ageing water mains.

“There is a legacy of having to repair the water mains in Ballymahon and, with these works, that will be a thing of the past,” Irish Water's Liam Brett told the Longford Leader at the event.

The project is expected to commence this month and is estimated to continue for approximately 12 to 14 weeks.

“Construction will be carried out using trenchless technology to minimise disruption in the town where possible,” Mr Duignan added.

Once complete, these works will enable landscaping and streetscaping works to take place along Main Street.

There are business-owners in the area whose livelihoods depend on the water mains. Hair salon, Halo Hair Design is one such business.

“When the water goes, it's difficult for us because we can't wash colour out of hair and that means there are chemicals sitting on heads,” said Ciara McGrane, a hairdresser at Halo.

“And we don't know when it's going to happen. We could deal with it if we knew when it would go.”

There are some concerns among business owners about the disruptions the works will cause, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, but overall, there is a sense of relief that the problem is being dealt with.

“If the system needs to be upgraded, it needs to be upgraded,” said Patrick Claffey, a businessman in the town.

These sentiments were echoed by Michael Cooney of Cooney's Hotel: “If the water system has to be upgraded and it's efficient for the local business-owners, and if it's the right time to do it, then now is the time to do it,” he said.

“It might cause some disruption but if you want to make an omlette, you have to break a few eggs.”
Donall Mac An Bheatha was also at Cooney's Hotel on the day and said that this project will be highly beneficial for Ballymahon.

“Pipes have been bursting in the town for years and, as I understand, they're going to minimise the disruption.

“It's a good thing. The town will get brand new pipes and it will set Ballymahon up for another ten or fifteen years,” he told the Longford Leader.

The works are due to begin this month and throughout the duration of the works, customers can contact the Irish Water customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1850 278 278.

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