The Environment Minister, Alan Kelly T.D., has officially opened the new €3.5 million Carrickmacross Water Supply and Treatment Plant, situated at Nafferty on a hill on the outskirts of the town, near the Ballybay Road. A small group of protestors from Carrickmacross says No to Irish Water staged a protest near the entrance as the Minister arrived.
Construction of the plant began in May 2013 and it was commissioned in November 2014. Built on the site of the previous reservoir, the facility will supply water to domestic and business customers in Carrickmacross town and the surrounding area. Carrickmacross currently requires approximately 1.2 million litres of water a day for domestic, industrial and agricultural use. The new plant has the capacity to treat 160,000 litres of water per hour ensuring an adequate supply of treated water to meet current and future customer demands.
In 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direction to Monaghan County Council placing the supply on a Remedial Action List. It was therefore critical that the new plant included a robust design, using proven technology for the treatment and continuous monitoring of water quality. The previous supply was susceptible to changing weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall or flash flooding, causing the quality of the ground water supply to change. The new plant is supplied by four different water sources with the quality of water from each being monitored on a continuous basis. In the event of any change in water quality an automatic alarm is notified to the operator and the water treatment process can be adjusted or a different water source can be selected to ensure customers always get a top quality water supply.
A full range of treatment processes including filtration, UV treatment, disinfection and fluoridation will also be deployed at the new plant ensuring compliance with current regulations. As a result Irish Water and Monaghan County Council successfully applied to the EPA and the HSE to remove the scheme from the Remedial Action List.
Commenting on today’s opening, Jerry Grant, Head of Assets, Irish Water said; “Providing a safe and secure water supply for our communities and businesses is vital and Irish Water has prioritised investment in improving drinking water quality standards. The recent EPA Drinking Water Report highlighted the inadequacy of a significant proportion of our treatment plants supplying drinking water and the scale of the investment needed to ensure all communities have access to clean drinking water. The opening of Carrickmacross Water Treatment Plant is a great example of how Irish Water working in partnership with Monaghan County Council can deliver real benefits in terms of security of supply, quality and value for money to the local community.”
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly, said: “I’m delighted to open this water treatment plant in Carrickmacross. This new facility has seen strong cooperation between Irish Water, Monaghan County Council and private sector partners to ensure the town and surrounding areas have a modern, state-of-the art water treatment facility. The project was delivered on time, and under budget and I congratulate all involved.
Having a secure, high quality water supply is vital to every town’s daily life and economic development. With this new water treatment plant Carrickmacross will have the reliable, drinking water supply it needs for the years and decades ahead, so that its families, firms and farms can go about their daily activities and the local economy can progress.
With the reform of the water sector and the establishment of Irish Water, investment in water infrastructure is increasing. I am confident that Monaghan will experience improved water services and sustainable water investment as a result of the Government’s reforms”, the Minister concluded, before being given a tour of the facility.
Jerry Grant along with local representatives accompanied Mr Kelly on a tour of the facility.
Irish Water is responsible for 855 water treatment plants that supply over 1.6 billion litres of water every day to 3.3 million people. The company invested €340m in improving water and waste water services in 2014 and will invest over €410 million in improving water services during 2015, this spend will increase over subsequent years.