€1.5 million investment announced for Gort and Spiddal water treatment plants

Galway Daily news Irish Water reacts to Loughrea drinking water quality concerns

€1.54 million in funding to carry out upgrade works on Gort and Spiddal water treatment plants has been announced by Irish Water working in partnership with Galway County Council.

The upgrades will benefit over 5,000 customers of the two Regional Supply Schemes, ensuring the plants can meet current demand and provide for future development in both areas.

Regional head of Irish Water’s Capital Programme Laura Heneghan says the upgrades are needed to ensure that water from the plants is in compliance with water quality regulations.

“The current treatment processes at the Gort and Spiddal Water Treatment Plants require significant upgrade. These works will provide a more advanced treatment process to help mitigate against various contaminants and improve the quality of water supplied.”

Commenting on the investment, Galway East TD Sean Canney said the upgrades are welcome news for East Galway and will ensure a better quality water supply for the area.

Ms. Heneghan listed some of the treatment processes which will see improvements as a result of the works.

“In addition to upgrade works to the flocculation, coagulation, clarification and filtration processes, UV disinfection will be provided as a robust measure in alleviating the risk of cryptosporidium to the water supply.”

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite sometimes found in human and animal faeces which can make its way into the water supply when water is not properly treated.

Symptoms of a cryptosporidium infection can include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and fever, though people with weaker immune systems may develop more serious or even life-threatening illnesses.

An outbreak of cryptosporidium in the city in 2007 forced 120,000 people to boil their water for five months, and cost the city 19 million euro.

Coffey Water ltd, a civil engineering company based in Moanbaun near Athenry has been given the go ahead to carry out the upgrades.

Works are expected to commence in the coming weeks and be completed by the end of September.