Kildare County Council launches water campaign

Kildare County Council has assured householders connecting to the new Barrow Abstraction Scheme, that the harder water supply is “perfectly safe and wholesome”.

Kildare County Council has assured householders connecting to the new Barrow Abstraction Scheme, that the harder water supply is “perfectly safe and wholesome”.

In a statement issued today, it said the new supply will come into production from mid-July.

“The final out-turn costs of the abstraction plant as well as the two associated pipeline contracts are likely to be in the region of €45m. Certainly, this is a major economic boost for the south of the county particularly in terms of economic activity and associated job creation,” noted the council.

It said the new supply is timely in light of serious constraints which are emerging in the Greater Dublin Area.

“The new water source from the Barrow does, however, present a particular challenge as it is considered to be a “harder” water, particularly when compared to the Ballymore Eustace supply which is considered to be “soft”. This relates to the fact that the River Barrow flows through areas rich in limestone as opposed to, for example, the Ballymore Eustace supply which largely comes directly from mountainous areas,” it explained.

“There is, however, also good news on this front. The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has recently sanctioned approval at a cost of approximately €3.5m, for a “conditioning” system at the Barrow plant which will reduce hardness levels at source. Construction of this new system will commence very shortly and is due for completion in October/November, 2014. However, in the intervening period, this does present a challenge for the Council in relation to public perceptions of the new supply. Accordingly, in the intervening 70 week period, it is proposed to blend the Barrow supply with the softer Ballymore Eustace water at the Old Kilcullen reservoir. This will have the effect of reducing the level of hardness to more moderate levels.”

Kildare County Council is also embarking on a communications drive. The main areas affected include Newbridge, Kildare Town, Kilcullen as well as parts of south-central and north-central Kildare. More detailed information is included on the Council’s website - www.kildarecountycouncil.ie A series of radio and newspaper advertisements will be placed in addition to a leaflet drop. From July 1, a dedicated telephone line (045-980555) will be established for queries.

The Council is advising there are no measures required at individual household level.

“It is, however, important for consumers to be aware of the slightly different characteristics. The increased hardness will likely result in deposits of limescale when the water is heated. A light film may form in heated beverages. These are natural characteristics,” it said.

The Council also stressed the new Barrow supply complies fully with EU drinking water standards and is perfectly safe and wholesome. Parts of Kildare (mainly around Athy, Monasterevin, Rathangan, and parts of Kildare Town) already have the harder water.