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Councillor P J Ryan, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

Eight Water Breaks in South-East Clare in 2020

FRUSTRATION is growing South-East Clare over repeated water breaks involving an old water mains pipe coming from Corbally that is supplying water to householders in Parteen and Westbury.

Residents are becoming increasingly concerned with the frequency of water breaks with eight disruptions in the Parteen and Westbury area this year.

Grainne Flynn, Ballykeelaun, Parteen, who has two children, said residents needed a proper water supply to have showers and wash clothes.

She said the interruptions in the water supply were happening too frequently and even when the water comes back she can’t really depend on it because the pressure can be low for days.

She is annoyed with the amount of times she has to call Irish Water to unblock a public sewer manhole outside her back garden, which she can’t access.

She described the smell after overflows as “disgusting”.

When this public manhole overflows, workmen acting on behalf of Irish Water have to go through property owned by one of her neighbours, Martina McNamara to access it. Over the last three years, Ms McNamara acknowledged having frequent foul smells has become a problem.

Even when the manhole is cleaned out, she was been informed that workmen don’t know where the smell is coming from.

Councillor P J Ryan called for a complete overhaul of the water system in the area, which is “completely inadequate and obviously not fit for purpose, which is very unacceptable in this day and age”.

Councillor Ryan said there is a huge population living in this area and it is not good enough they are being left without water on numerous occasions over the last two years.

In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, Deputy Cathal Crowe has welcomed confirmation Irish Water is to work with Clare County Council on finding a solution to long-term water issues plaguing Westbury and Parteen.

Irish Water has stated that along with the local authority, they are working to assess and prioritise watermains for potential inclusion in the 2021 mains rehab programme.

“There have been eight water outages in the Westbury/Parteen areas of Clare,” said Deputy Crowe.

“At the best of times, this is an absolute disaster but given we are in the midst of an international health pandemic, it’s a disgrace to see.

“I’m thrilled that Irish Water and Clare County Council are looking into solutions now as a matter of priority.

“It should be noted that the project will be assessed against all other needs across the county before approval is granted to commence construction but the water mains serving the area isn’t fit for purpose and the residents deserve much better, so I have high hopes.

“I will continue to engage with Irish Water and Clare County Council on this matter and doing all I can to ensure that funding is secured for this essential infrastructure.”

Irish Water stated it is focussed on improving service and reducing leaks across Ireland by fixing or replacing old, damaged water pipes and removing lead pipes on the public network. This is a significant undertaking with the current resources and budget available and we are using a risk-based approach to planning this work.

Under the National Leakage Reduction Programme, Irish Water is investing over €500 million between 2017 and 2021 to reduce the high level of leakage across the country. Irish Water stated it is prioritising works that will deliver the biggest water savings to the largest amount of people.

“We understand and regret any inconvenience and disruption caused by burst pipes. When bursts occur Irish Water and our partners in Clare County Council respond immediately and work to restore supply as quickly as possible.

“Working with Clare County Council, we have carried out a number of repairs to the old water main in the Athlunkard Bridge area. The replacement of water main in this area is currently under review,” said a spokesman.

Irish Water understands the inconvenience sewer blockages can cause and it works with the local authority to clear blockages that are reported as quickly as possible.

Crews have cleared blockages in this estate this week and the utility will arrange for jetting of the network in Ballykeelaun. Further investigations will also be carried out to identify if any additional remedial work is required.

Customers who are aware of sewer overflows in the public network should contact Irish Water at 1850 278 278 and who will endeavour to respond and clear the blockage as quickly as possible.

Dan Danaher

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