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Environment Last Updated: 24, Nov 2018 - 13:44

Official opening of €10 million investment in Lough Mask Water Supply Scheme
By Aoife Kelly
24, Nov 2018 - 13:35

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Today (Fri 23 Nov 2018), Mayo County Council working in partnership with Roscommon and Galway County Councils and Irish Water, celebrated the official opening of the €10 million investment in an extension of the Lough Mask Water Supply Scheme in Co Mayo to Ballinlough in Co Roscommon, and Williamstown in Co Galway. This is the first time a major water supply is supplying three counties and underpins the importance of a one-utility approach.

The official opening took place in Williamstown and was performed by Ciaran Cannon TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Leas-Chathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Loftus; Leas-Chathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Peter Keaveney; Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr Ivan Connaughton and Declan Geraghty from Williamstown.

Minister for State, Ciaran Cannon.

This essential project included the construction of over 22 kilometres of new water mains, a new water pumping station at the Ballyhaunis reservoir and the construction of a new reservoir and control building at the site of the existing Granlahan water tower near Ballinlough. As a result of this robust solution to the long-standing water problems experienced in both of these areas the existing Ballinlough and Williamstown water treatment plants have now been decommissioned, and the communities have been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency's Remedial Action List.

Speaking at today's launch, Leas-Chathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Loftus said: "Today is an important day for the people of Williamstown, Ballinlough and the surrounding areas. This new pipeline carries water from our Lough Mask Regional Supply in County Mayo into Roscommon and Galway and will ensure quality drinking water and a reliable service."

Minister Cannon added: "The Government, through Irish Water, has invested €10 million in this project, and it's fantastic to be here to see first-hand the positive impact of the investment here in Williamstown. The works were made possible through the wonderful teamwork of Irish Water working in partnership with Mayo, Roscommon, and Galway County Councils and, without a doubt, the project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when people work together to deliver results for our communities. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to bring this project to fruition, which is already greatly benefitting the local area."

Speaking about the project Michael Tinsley, Irish Water, commented: "This project has provided a long-term solution to water problems experienced by 5,000 consumers in Ballinlough and Williamston. It outlines the importance of a one-utility approach to the provision of water services where a major supply, in this case, Lough Mask in County Mayo will now supply three counties and ensure compliance with requirements set out in the European Union Drinking Water Directive and national Drinking Water Regulations. This is good news for the consumers on the Ballinlough, Granlahan, and Williamstown who have all had to put up with the major inconveniences of Boil Water Notices in the past."

Declan Geraghty, Chairman of the local community group who have worked with Irish Water during their Boil Water Notice added: "We are delighted to be celebrating the official opening of this new water main. Consumers, both residential and business, are now benefitting from a modern water supply capable of serving the existing and future residential and commercial development needs of Williamstown and the surrounding rural areas. Water is one of the most essential substances on earth, critical for human health, the production of food and for industrial activity. A safe reliable supply is critical to rural Ireland's economic and social development."

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