Over €6 million will be invested into water schemes in County Wicklow during 2007, including investment in new schemes, the upgrading of current schemes and the start of a number of new group sewerage schemes.
Overall the money will go toward new treatment plants for 19 water schemes, upgrading works for 16 group water schemes and the start of work on two new group water schemes and four group sewerage schemes
The investment, the largest amount of funding ever pumped into Wicklow, will come as welcome news to many rural communities who have suffered a number of problems with their water supply. The quality of water in some parts has been a frequent complaint, while the water supply in some parts of West Wicklow has actually been contaminated in the past. Some home owners are also still reliant on their own wells.
The complete figure for investment will reach €6.1 million and Wicklow will be included as part of the South Leinster Project which extends over several neighbouring counties. It will include 15 public water supplies and four group water schemes in Wicklow alone. €3.3 of the allocation will be provided to allow all the Wicklow schemes to be brought to completion later in the year, with over 1,400 households set to benefit from new or upgraded water supplies by the end of the year.
The 15 public water supply schemes will be located at Askinagap, Ballingate Ballyknockan, Baltyboys, Barnadarrig, Ballycooge, Coolboy/Coolafancy, Donard, Hollywood, Humphreystown, Kiltegan, Kirakee New, Kirakee Old, Knockananna, Knockanarrigan, Rathdangan, Stratford, Thomastown and Valleymount.
An allocation of €581,000 will also be set aside to enable construction to start on new group sewerage schemes at Ballynerrin, Blainroe, Glendalough and Killadreenan. That same allocation will also go toward new group water schemes at Stranakelly and Brittas Bay.
Eight group water schemes will also be connected to public mains to try and ensure the water meets the highest drinking standards. Blainroe, Cornagower, Hempstown, Kilacloran, Manor Kilbride, Old Court, Tinode and Tombrean/Umrygar are the areas to benefit, at a cost of €600,000.
The new funding will enable Wicklow County Council to takeover a number of group water schemes as well. Once agreement has been reached with the groups at Ballyrahan, Crossbridge, Rosbane and Tomacork, the county council will be able to take charge of them at a cost of around €127,500.
€248,750 has been set aside to pay for the upgrading of schemes at Ballyfolan, Blakestown, Raheen and Little Newtown.
Wicklow County Council also submitted proposals to the Department of the Environment and Local government about improvements they were seeking for a number of small public water and sewerage schemes all over the county. In order to meet these demands, €1.2 million will be set aside for small public sewerage schemes in Ballinaclash, Barnadarrig, Blainroe, Donard, Glenealy, Knockroe/Priestnewtown Sewer, Redcross, Stratford and Thomastown.