MINISTER for the Environment John Gormley has announced approval for over €608,000 towards Galway County Council’s proposals to upgrade Gort’s existing water treatment plant.
The proposed works, which are expected to cost in the region of €745,000, are set to provide a treatment plant that is capable of providing the town with a quality water supply.
Minister Gormley said, “Combined with separate works to reduce leakage and improve the town’s water distribution network, which are also being funded by my department, this upgrade will meet the town’s current and medium term water needs.”
Mr Gormley said that it is now up to Galway County Council to finalise any outstanding issues and to make sure construction begins as soon as possible.
“Approval of these works reflects the commitment in the Programme for Government that our public drinking water supplies will deliver a reliable service that is 100% compliant with drinking water standards.”
Deputy Michael Kitt welcomed the allocation. “These proposed works costing €745,000 will provide Gort with a quality water supply,” he claimed.
South Galway County Councillor Bridie Willers said it was good news and that it should tackle a problem that has been around for many years.
“The upgrade of the treatment plant is very welcome and it’s long overdue. It is being hoped that work might get underway before Christmas but even if that doesn’t happen, at least it’s coming now and it’s ready to go.”
She said that there are problems regarding water pressure and quality to be tackled. “As part of this work, a lot of the pipes on the Ennis Road are to be repaired. At the moment, the supply is brownish in colour a lot of the time. Often after a flood or a period of heavy rainfall, it will be particularly bad because of the peat on the mountains that it comes through. The water can be very discoloured and even in the summer when there is good weather, that problem is still there. The pressure can be very low in parts of the town and with all the developments that took place during the Celtic Tiger period, it became worse.”
Councillor Willers said that it was important to note that despite the discolouration, both the county council and the HSE were of the view that the water was safe to drink.
She said that the project was long delayed, and that people had grown tired of waiting.
“I’m on the council for a number of years and there has been a lot of talk about it but now it’s going ahead. People have been waiting so long that they wondered would it ever happen.”