« BackIrish Water Abandons Controversial Water Supply Plan For South Kerry

kenmareIrish Water has abandoned a controversial plan for an alternative water supply for Kenmare that led to a decade long legal battle, costing hundreds of thousands of euro.

Kerry County Council initiated the plan in 2004 to source extra water from the Sheen River for Kenmare.

It was intended to overcome a problem with Kenmare’s water supply that was hindering housing and business development in the town.

Kerry County Council’s Sheen river extraction plan was successfully opposed by residents in Bonane who argued that the existing water source from Lough Eirk should be used with improved water treatment plan and pipe network.

In her 2014 decision,  Judge Pauline Codd held in the Circuit Court said there was a scientific doubt regarding  the recommended measures in the plan  to protect salmon stock and otter life.

The judge made an order disallowing Kerry County Council’s plans which had previously been given the green light by An Bord Pleanala.

The council had argued that there was pressure on the Kenmare Water Supply Scheme under which there was an existing daily water availability of 2,000 cubic metres.

Long term needs had been assessed at 4,500 cubic metres a day and a study taken during the property boom suggested an existing abstraction from Lough Eirk required supplementation from the River Sheen.

The council had commissioned a number of expert reports concerning the project. Three separate consultants’ reports alone cost €500,000.
Irish Water took over responsibility for Kerry Water Services in January 2014.

It says Kenmare Water Treatment plant is being upgraded with a contract expected to be issued this year with works to be completed in 2017.

The utility has confirmed that no second water source is now being sought and that the town’s current supply will be sufficient once the upgrade works have been completed.

These works will also solve the issue of an insufficient cryptosporidium barrier which has been identified as a cause of concern by the Environmental Protection Agency.