Four existing Group Water Schemes have made inquiries to Longford County Council about the possibility of connecting up to the Irish Water system.
The inquiries came to light as members of Longford County Council heard details of the Rural Water Multi-Annual Programme 2022-2025.
Suzanne Duffy, Environmental Officer with Longford County Council made a presentation on the programme at the July meeting of the local authority.
The presentation followed on from a meeting of the County Rural Water Monitoring Committee last May. Cllr Seamus Butler, Cllr Paul Ross and Cllr Garry Murtagh represent the local authority on that committee.
Ms Duffy gave background to the current programme, which covers two existing GWS; Clonmore Kilmore and Fostra. Under that programme Clonmore Kilmore were allocated €172,000 while Fostra were allocated €49,000.
Spending has been delayed under that programme because of Covid restrictions and issues with tenders and construction. In March 2022 the Department requested an ‘options report’. “We are in discussion with the Department, and we will bring the details of those negotiations back to the Rural Water Monitoring Committee once we get a decision on that,” Ms Duffy told members.
The presentation focused on the forthcoming programme, covering 2022-2025. “The Department has asked us to engage with GWS on this. There are seven measures for consideration, similar to the previous scheme,” Ms Duffy stated.
The focus of the water quality parameters includes: source protection, public health compliance, upgrading of treatment facilities, water conservation network upgrading. Other areas include transition over the public water sector and innovation and research.
Ms Duffy said there have already been a number of expressions of interest in the forthcoming programme.
“We have bids in from four group water schemes for the 2022-25 programme. They have put in a pre-connection inquiry to Irish Water. That's essentially to establish the feasibility of a connection to the Irish Water network. We have already one from an existing GWS. It has been open for a while but the closing date is July 29, 2022. It's for capital works only, not for operational or maintenance works.”
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