The roll out of the new water scheme to 350 extra homes in the Kildare town area will be extended to Newbridge next summer with householders facing a new level of hardness in their supply.
Councillors at the Kildare Area Committee meeting noted that many Kildare town residents had already complained about the lime build up, with some having to purchase water softeners.
Cllr Suzanne Doyle warned that when the supply is switched over in Newbridge, with such a large population, there will be a lot more complaints. The councillors were responding to a briefing given by Mr Ibrahim Bargouthi from the Council’s Waterworks Department. He spoke about how Kildare had to develop its own independent supply and reduce reliance on Dublin. He said the only shortages resulting from last year’s winter crises were in areas which received water from Dublin. He said the Rathangan and Hybla well fields were now supplying 350 extra homes in the Maryville, Fairgreen Cottages, and the Dunmurray area, right out to the railway bridge and Cill Dara Golf Club. He accepted the water supply from Rathangan and Monasterevin was “moderately hard”. He pointed out the new supply for Kildare town was blended with water from the River Liffey from the existing Poulaphouca supply and the Rathangan well field. He said it may result in the build up of lime and there may be a film on tea or coffee. However, he stressed there were “absolutely no concerns with the quality of the water in relation to public safety.”
Cllr Doyle said she understood the importance of Kildare having its own water sources. She asked if there was a saving involved in getting the water from our own sources instead of getting it from Dublin. She said people were very annoyed at the cost the new supply was putting on their households in terms of lime build up in appliances. She asked if the council provide some practical tips for homeowners such as running the shower cold immediately over the tiled surfaces to reduce lime build up. She also talked about the expense of putting in water softeners and how drinking water should not be included in the water softening system. She questioned whether a water softener system could be put in at the source?
Ibrahim Bargouthi explained the Department emphasised there was no money available and that such a thing had never before been done in Ireland or the UK. He said it would cost €3.5m to install and an extra million euro a year to upgrade it. Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin asked if the new water board would have responsibility for water sources. She said surely the cost would fall to them and not Kildare County Council. Cllr Doyle suggested it would be better to set the softener up now and then let the water board take over the cost of maintaining it. Cllr Paddy Kennedy said the council should put a public awareness campaign in place to advise people on the build up of lime.
- Niamh O’Donoghue