'Hundreds of families are turning on taps for 30 minutes every morning in north Kilkenny,' says councillor

Historic build-up of manganese in pipes of North Kilkenny homes

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett



Clogh and Castlecomer public water supply after treatment

Clogh and Castlecomer public water supply after treatment

‘Hundreds of families are turning on taps for 30 minutes every morning in north Kilkenny’ as a result of a build-up of manganese, Cllr John Brennan has said.

At last month’s meeting of Castlecomer Municipal District, Cllr Brennan said he got a commitment from Irish Water in early 2017 that the ice-pigging (where the inside of pipes are cleaned) would be done to the pipes.

“They haven’t done it so far,” he said. “Some 200 families are turning on their taps for 30 minutes every day in the Clogh, Moneenroe and Castlecomer area.

"Can we write to Irish Water to see when will it be done? The quality of the water is not in question. The problem is historic.”

“It’s a build of manganese which has built up over years,” Cllr Brennan said to the ’People.

“It’s dropping down off the pipe into the water supply. It’s not harmful but it discolours the water. So the Council, on behalf of Irish Water, put chloride into the system every Wednesday night.

“And on Thursday, in order to flush out the system, the taps have to be left on. Irish Water are trying to promote water conservation but within half an hour there are thousands of gallons flushed down the system.

“It’s affecting 200 homes in Clogh, Moneenroe and the rural areas of Castlecomer.

“When the taps are turned off and back on a gush of manganese comes through the system. The water is turned off at source every Wednesday night.

“Irish Water still hasn’t done the necessary ice-pigging works. They are old and antiquated pipes.

“The upgrade of the treatment plant in Loon is not able to treat what is historically built up in the pipes. It’s a waste of time until the pipes are cleaned out.”

At the meeting, Director of Services at the Council, Mary Mulholland said Irish Water had confirmed to the local authority that the tendering process for the ice-pigging works has taken place.

She said the water utility has works planned to commence in the third quarter of this year.

Cllr Maurice Shortall added: “We were sent the very same text in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This is their fifth commitment to do ice-pigging.”

Irish Water says if residents’ water is black or contains tiny black particles, it may be due to manganese deposits.

Manganese can occur naturally in certain water sources and if not removed can gather as sediment deposits in the water network. They encourage people to run their tap for a number of minutes to see if it returns to a clear colour.