A KILKENNY water services project won a national award, the Strategic Water Initiative category of the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2011, which is an initiative by Chambers Ireland to showcase and recognise best practice across local authorities and encourage excellence in service to the community.
The Kilkenny Water Services project, “Releasing Water Quality Information”, provides ways to “release” water quality information in timely and in a user friendly format. It encourages the use of water quality information by water service providers and consumers alike.
Project leader Michael Arthurs, Senior Executive Officer of Water Services commented that Kilkenny Local Authority has delivered a number of initiatives including a new improved water quality alert notification system for early warning and response, a new website to provide advanced water quality information to water scheme managers of water treatment plants and a new smart phone application for remote access for water scheme managers. These initiatives permit the delivery of current data to provide information on the move. A promising initiative is to connect a group scheme to the water quality database allowing the scheme to have current data to improve monitoring and protect the water sources.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Paul Cuddihy commented that water quality is a Kilkenny Local Authorities’ policy priority. “This project ‘Releasing Water Quality Information Project’ is both innovative and ground breaking. Kilkenny Local Authorities’ ambition to provide excellence of service to its water services customers is addressed in a modern, technological, efficient and customer friendly way,” he said.
Philip O’Neill, Director of Water Services and Environment congratulated the Council’s water quality team in developing this project. He added future exciting goals include phase 2 of the smart phone application to provide ways to release information to the public, further development of remote recording of water quality results by caretakers, a new improved way for transmission of water quality data from laboratories to the local authority and incorporation of the latest water quality monitoring equipment into the system. He concluded that all these initiatives have the potential to radically increase the range of water quality information captured.
County Manager Joe Crockett said that the project is a promising initiative to significantly improve the monitoring of our water in the county. “It also assists both the suppliers and consumers to maintain safe and secure drinking water. Kilkenny Local Authorities are honoured to have received such a prestigious award following the success in last year’s competition and looks forward to the continued delivery of the highest standard of service to the city and county,” he added.