DISRUPTIONS to water supply in the town of Tullamore are to kept to a minimum during works on the Water Services Investment Programme
.Phase 1 of the Watermain Rehabilitation Scheme will see the replacement of existing cast iron watermains and connections up to and including individual stopcocks.
Areas affected will include Grand Canal south to O’Moore Street including Spollanstown Road, Patrick Street to Batchelor’s Walk to Clonminch, Market Square to the Harbour area, High Street and Clontarf Road.
The scheme comes with a €12 million pricetag.
Tom Shanahan and Anne Healy Smith gave a presentation to members of Tullamore Town Council at the May meeting about the project which aims to look at the water supply in the county.
Works around schools will be carried out during school holidays and all routes will remain open for special events.
While works will be carried out in three areas around the town, no two areas will be worked on at the same time.
During the works there will be messaging boards put on the town’s approach roads to notify people of diversions.
Chairperson of Tullamore Town Council Sinead Dooley said she was delighted to see the overall improvement of water in the town. She asked if water metres installed during these works would leave people exempt from charges down the line.
Cllr Tommy McKeigue asked if work would be carried out at night and asked that the contractor hired be concise and finish out the works on time.
Cllr Brendan Killeavy asked that council workers produce ID’s when visiting homes. He also asked if the council could look for another water supply other than the proposed one at Arden which he said is full of lime.
“The council is going to spend millions. We could do much better and find a much better source for residents,” he said.
Cllr Lar Byrne said while lime was bad for electrical appliances it was good for young babies and was in fact healthier than soft water.
Mr Shanahan said they hoped construction on the project would start by July or August. He said there were good contractors fighting for work so they would ensure they get one of them.
He said while there were a lot of people in the town used to soft water from Clonaslee water, many groundwater schemes in the country contained lime and there were no health issues with it.
Meanwhile Ms Healy Smith said the maximum shut down of any water supply would be six hours during an 24 hour period and there has to be seven working days between any two shutdowns in the same area.
She added there would be some night work, but that the council would do its best to ensure minimum noise and disruption to residents.
Town Engineer Paul Devaney stressed that while Ms Healy Smith was speaking of “planned shutdowns”, if someone breaks a main during works, this will not be a planned shutdown.
Town Clerk Martin Daly described the project as “a vital programme for a Gateway town like Tullamore.”