Seanad debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Adjournment Matters

Water and Sewerage Schemes

7:00 pm

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Senator Moloney for providing the opportunity to clarify the position on Kilcummin sewerage scheme. As she rightly says, she has made many representations regarding this scheme.

The Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2013 provides for the development of a comprehensive range of new water services infrastructure in County Kerry. The programme includes contracts under construction and to commence to the value of more than ยค92 million in Kerry during the period of the programme. It also includes a number of schemes in the country to advance through planning.

Kerry County Council has completed eight schemes or contracts which include sewerage schemes for Firies, Milltown, Farranfore, Rathmore and Barraduff and water supply schemes or contracts in Listowel, Caherciveen and Ardfert. The council expects that the Scart reservoir contract, which is part of the central regional water supply scheme and the Waterville water and sewerage scheme, will be completed by this summer. Kerry County Council also expects to go to tender shortly for the sewerage schemes for Ardfert, Ballylongford and Tarbert. The council is also pressing ahead with its water conservation programme throughout the county. The Kilcummin sewerage scheme is included in the programme as a scheme to advance through planning during the life of the programme.

As the Senator mentioned, Kerry County Council awarded a contract for the combined Kilcummin-Barraduff sewerage scheme in 2007 and work commenced on this contract in April 2007. The contractor at the time, however, was also engaged in construction work on another sewerage scheme, the Milltown sewerage scheme. As a result, progress on the Kilcummin-Barraduff contract was slow. In July 2007, the council suspended the contract in accordance with the terms that were set out in it. The contractor agreed to withdraw from the Kilcummin portion of the contract and resumed work in Barraduff. As a consequence of the problems, no work was carried out on the Kilcummin scheme.

Kerry County Council submitted a revised proposal for the Kilcummin sewerage scheme to my Department in December 2009 and in view of the high unit costs associated with providing this scheme, my Department requested the council in May 2010 to review the scope of the scheme. The council submitted a further proposal to the Department in June 2012. There are still concerns regarding the unit costs of the scheme and arrangements have been made between my Department and Kerry County Council to meet shortly to discuss this latest proposal.

I am conscious of the impacts that the discharges from Kilcummin are having on the local environment and on Lough Leane. I am keen to have these issues resolved and I hope the discussions which will take place between the Department and Kerry County Council will resolve the issue to the benefit of Kilcummin community and I hope, as Senator Moloney has advocated, the scheme will proceed.


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