The capacity levels of Irish Water infrastructure in County Tipperary is a cause for real concern according to Independent Councillor Seamus Morris.
Information from the water services shows that 8 waste water treatment plants are at full capacity – in some cases overcapacity.
This is resulting in a risk of untreated waste being released into water ways at times and places restrictions on residential and commercial development in the locations.
These plants are in Ballina, Newport, Fethard, Lisvarrinane, Cloughjordan, Golden, Newcastle and Silvermines. Upgrades of water treatment facilities are planned or underway at just 4 of these locations – namely Ballina, Newport, Fethard and Lisvarnane.
There are also severe constraints emerging in terms of water supply.
Details from the 10 year Water Supply Register shows that there are 49 water supplies in operation.
20 of these have capacity available to service anticipated growth to 2031.
11 of the supplies will need investment to maintain or improve the level of service as demand for water increases.
There are 18 water schemes that are currently of limited capacity – connection applications are assessed on an individual basis and further investment in the network is required to maintain supply as demand increases.
Cllr Morris continues to express concern about the strategic management of Irish Water.
The company is proposing to extract water from the Shannon to supply the Eastern Region of the country.
During August there was insufficient water in the Shannon to enable energy production at Ardnacrusha which produces 3% of Ireland’s Electricity.
In addition the Councillor notes that Irish Water have requested approval from the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities to reallocate funds from the pipeline project to general funding for this year to cover a deficit.