Kilkenny has made an unprecedented investment into the county’s water services over the last two years, and will continue to spend money to improve its infrastructure.
Between 2010 and 2012, a record €25 million was spent on capital schemes completed, with a further three schemes (€500,000) still under way. A further €10 million is earmarked for schemes expected to start this year, with the Department of Environment sanctioning large-scale water main rehabilitation last week.
Director of water services Philip O’ Neill said it was a record investment and a huge amount of work.
“We have never in the history of the county gone into such an extensive programme of improvements,” he told the members of Kilkenny County Council last week.
“We are also gone to be starting lots of schemes ready to go even after 2013. What we are seeing is a very successful period in water and waste water treatment services in Kilkenny.”
Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh (FG) was the first to welcome the announcements.
“I don’t think we ever got so much good news on one day,” she said.
“We have waited a long time for this, so I am grateful to the Department that we are getting our fair share of money.”
Cllr Maurice Shorthall (Labour) said credit had to go to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
“What we are seeing today is the benefit of having a minister in the county,” he said.
“I wish to publicly thank Minister Hogan for all the work he has done for the constituency.”
Mains will be repaired or replaced at locations in Thomastown, Piltown and Kilmacow in the first half of this year. A similar rehabilitation scheme will take place at John’s Quay, Talbot’s Inch, Leggetsrath, the Castlecomer Road, Graiguenamanagh, Beline, Piltown and Freshford later on in the year.
New waste water treatment plants are also set for Freshford, Johnstown, Goresbridge, Stonyford, Castlecomer and Urlingford. There will be upgrades to the Outrath reservoir and to Purcellsinch.
At Outrath, the capacity will be quadrupled, thus putting an end to water shortages in the south of the city, which have been problematic in the past.
Projects completed in the last two years include treatment plants at Kilmacow, Thomastown and Coan, Belview strategic water supply, upgrades at Gowran/Goresbridge/Paulstown and repairs to the Radestown reservoir. Stonyford relief watermain, and treatment plants at Ballyhale and Kilmoganny, are expected to be completed this year.