Irish Water has appointed contractors to carry out repair and upgrade works to the Kilkee wastewater pumping station, with all works on site due to be completed within the next two months, in time for the start of the 2017 bathing period.
A ‘Do Not Swim’ notice issued by Clare County Council in December remains in place pending completion of the work at the pumping station. This notice was issued in the interest of public health following an emergency discharge of storm water containing elements of wastewater from Kilkee pumping station into the sea via Kilkee beach.
The emergency discharge occurred due to a failure in an operational safety device at the pumping station, combined with heavy rainfall in the area.
Since then, Irish Water has commissioned the manufacture and installation of a new surge protection system to replace the one which failed in December. A specialist electrical contractor has been appointed to review all electrical issues at the pumping station and a number of other measures are also being put in place to allow for improved management at times where a large volume of storm water is entering the system.
Work to install the new equipment at the pumping station will continue throughout March and April, with commissioning and optimisation due to be complete by mid-May.
In the interim, the Do Not Swim notice issued by Clare County Council remains in place and users of Kilkee beach are advised not to swim or participate in other water sports in the area. Beach users should avoid swallowing or splashing water and wash hands before handling food.
Maurice Hourigan, Wastewater Lead with Irish Water, said: “Since this incident occurred at the end of December, resolving it has been a top priority project for Irish Water. We now hope to have completed this work by mid-May, ahead of the start of the 2017 bathing season.
“Irish Water apologises for any inconvenience that this incident may cause to the users of Kilkee beach and will continue to work as a matter of urgency to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”