Louth County Coun­cil - Your County, Your Wa­ter

The Argus - - NEWS -

While the sum­mer heat wave proved to be a chal­lenge for many lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, Louth County Coun­cil en­gi­neers, in con­junc­tion with Ir­ish Wa­ter and with the co-op­er­a­tion of the peo­ple of Louth, suc­cess­fully man­aged reser­voir lev­els to en­sure a con­tin­ued sup­ply across the county.

Through a com­bi­na­tion of on-site main­te­nance and a com­plex sys­tem of re­mote live sen­sors and alarms feed­ing back to County Hall in Dun­dalk, Louth County Coun­cil en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians con­stantly mon­i­tor wa­ter con­sump­tion, reser­voir lev­els, leaks and the over­all me­chan­i­cal per­for­mance of the County wa­ter net­work.

Louth’s 50,000 homes use an av­er­age of 39,000,000 litres of wa­ter per day. To al­low for fu­ture pop­u­la­tion and eco­nomic growth the County’s twelve plants have the ca­pac­ity to draw 72,00,000 litres of wa­ter daily for treat­ment to EPA con­sump­tion stan­dards.

Com­ment­ing, Alan Sherry from Louth County Coun­cil said: ‘De­spite the county hav­ing no ma­jor lakes, one of the dri­est sum­mers in 70 years, and with river lev­els run­ning low, Coun­cil en­gi­neers main­tained reser­voir lev­els to meet de­mand dur­ing the heat­wave. This was aided by pub­lic ef­forts to con­serve wa­ter and en­sured that there was no dis­rup­tion to sup­ply as a di­rect re­sult of the sum­mer drought. We would like to thank every­one for their ef­forts to con­serve wa­ter dur­ing this time and en­cour­age the con­tin­ued con­ser­va­tion of wa­ter as we head in to the win­ter months’.

Me­chan­i­cal is­sues sep­a­rate to weather con­di­tions can and will hap­pen. Louth County Coun­cil have al­most 1,200 km of wa­ter mains, 12 wa­ter treat­ment plants, and a myr­iad of pumps, valves, and sen­sors to keep op­er­a­tional. Work­ing along­side Ir­ish Wa­ter, Coun­cil teams per­form con­stant main­te­nance and and are on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to re­act to in­ci­dents and leaks on a net­work that in­cludes two of the largest towns in the coun­try. Age­ing in­fra­struc­ture in ur­ban ar­eas adds to the com­plex­ity of main­tain­ing un­in­ter­rupted sup­ply. Cou­pled with a lim­ited Coun­cil bud­get, lim­ited re­sources and man­power, le­gal and plan­ning is­sues, traf­fic dis­rup­tion, and in­con­ve­nienc­ing the pub­lic to con­sider, manag­ing the wa­ter net­work is no small feat.

Iden­ti­fy­ing, pin­point­ing and re­pair­ing me­chan­i­cal is­sues and leaks can be a painstak­ing process es­pe­cially given the size, com­plex­ity, age pro­file and va­ri­ety of equip­ment re­quired to run the County’s wa­ter net­work. A lim­ited Louth County Coun­cil crew work­ing with Ir­ish Wa­ter and sub­con­trac­tors re­sponded to al­most 4,000 call­outs and 700 mains re­pairs in 2017.

Who pays for it? Like all Coun­cil services, you do. Busi­nesses pay di­rectly for wa­ter and tax­pay­ers fund the ex­che­quer, which in turn funds Ir­ish Wa­ter. Un­der a 12 year service agree­ment, Ir­ish wa­ter funds Louth County Coun­cil to pro­vide drink­ing and waste wa­ter services in Louth. Wa­ter sources not on the mains net­work con­sist of group wa­ter schemes man­aged by ded­i­cated com­mu­nity vol­un­teers and pri­vate wells.

Mr Sherry added: ‘This year works to re­place age­ing wa­ter mains were un­der­taken in Dun­dalk and Drogheda. In plan­ning to un­der­take such works, we try in­so­far as pos­si­ble to min­imise dis­rup­tion to the lo­cal com­mu­nity. We re­alise that works and road clo­sures in­con­ve­nience the pub­lic, but we ask peo­ple to think of the long term ben­e­fits. New sec­tions of es­sen­tial wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture should re­duce the like­li­hood of service dis­rup­tion to cus­tomers in ar­eas where mains have been up­graded. Louth County Coun­cil would like to apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience caused dur­ing these and all works that re­sult in any dis­rup­tion to the pub­lic’.

Wa­ter service an­nounce­ments and weather fore­casts can be found on Louth County Coun­cil’s Twit­ter feed - @LouthCoCo.

A Louth County Coun­cil tech­ni­cian mon­i­tors equip­ment at a Coun­cil manned wa­ter treat­ment plant.

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