Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has received confirmation that Louth County Council will invite Irish Water to next month’s Council meeting to answer questions on the Staleen Water Treatment Plant and to clarify it has the capacity to meet the supply needs of Drogheda.
Sinn Féin Councillors Kenneth Flood and Joanna Byrne accompanied Imelda Munster TD to the construction site of the Staleen Water Treatment Plant and Pipeline Project last August with the acting Director of Service for Operations in Louth County Council.
The object of the visit was to show progress of the works on the pipe laying element of the project.
However, during a Q&A session following a briefing from Irish Water Management, in answer to the Sinn Féin team’s questions, it was exposed that although the project will bring the outdated infrastructure up to modern standards and will immensely improve the quality of the water delivered, the plant itself will not be fit for purpose to supply the increasing demand that will be expected of it by then.
The plant currently exports 30,000 sq cubes of water per day, 1,250 per hr, and it was confirmed to the SF team that the new pipeline will not have the capacity to export much more than that.
Cllr Flood pointed out that “with 5,000 houses planned for construction in the Northern Environs area of Drogheda alone, leading to a population increase of approximately 15,000 people, it is obvious that the water demand will dramatically increase in that area alone in years to come, let alone expansion in any other area added to that. Obviously the plant will have to increase capacity to cope with the increased demand.”
Cllr Flood said “Since the site visit I have been following up on what we were told but every query from me and Louth County Council (LCC) officials has been met with denials from the Irish Water Spin Doctors. Their P.R Team have said in official correspondence that there is no issue and they can meet Drogheda’s future water needs. But this flies in the face of what their engineers and supply experts told us and the LCC Director of service on site last August.”
Cllr Flood said “The Staleen Plant and pipeline upgrade cost in the region of €20m so I believe they want to complete that project and move on to another region of the country. I believe that is the reason for the denials and retractions from the Irish Water Spin Doctors.
“Louth County Council recognise the fact that further investment in water infrastructure is needed in Drogheda and South Louth and at my request, included this in their submission to the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy Draft.
“We don’t need any more denials from the IW Spin Doctors. We need to hear from their engineers and supply experts and I welcome that they have now been invited to attend our council meeting to answer our