Thursday, 28 April 2005
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Water Supply Contamination
Question 248: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the increased expenditure which has had to be made by Carlow County Council due to the emergency caused by the contamination of the water supply to Carlow town will be reimbursed by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13848/05]
I understand Carlow County Council, in consultation with the Health Service Executive, has put in place a number of short-term measures to deal with contamination of Carlow town's water supply. Operational expenditure incurred by local authorities on their existing water services is financed from their own resources, including from local government fund grants and charges payable by non-domestic consumers in accordance with water services pricing policy.
Capital improvement works to water supplies are funded under my Department's water services investment programme. In March 2005, the county council submitted proposals to my Department to increase the water supply from the Rathvilly water treatment works to Carlow town through the installation of a booster pumping station at Friarstown. This work will allow the council to reduce output from the Sion Cross treatment plant, which is currently operating beyond its design capacity, and thereby reduce contamination risks to the town's water supply.
The funding of this work has been approved as an advance element of the Carlow north regional water supply stage two, which is included in my Department's water services investment programme for 2004 to 2006 as a scheme to commence in 2005, at an estimated cost of over â¬6.8 million. The council is urgently carrying out this advance work.