Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has called for common sense to prevail in the construction of an essential water treatment upgrade at Lough Talt. Earlier this year Irish Water was refused permission to build an interim plant downstream of the current one, to allow upgrade works to be carried out on the existing facility.
The current plant has been operating for almost 70 years and is the main source of drinking water for around 13,000 people living in areas like Tubbercurry, Ballymote, Ballisodare, Curry, Coolaney and Charlestown.
Deputy Scanlon explained, “Serious concerns have been expressed both by Irish Water and the EPA that the current level of treatment at Lough Talt may not be sufficient, particularly with regard to cryptosporidium. The current plant is posing a serious public health risk and needs to be upgraded as a matter of urgency. The decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse permission for the interim plant was extremely disappointing.
“The fact of the matter is that these upgrade works are needed and the interim plant must be constructed in order for the works to be carried out. While I appreciate that Lough Talt is a designated special area of conservation, there is also an obligation to ensure a clean, safe and secure water supply for the 13,000 people who depend on this water source.
“Irish Water is to re-submit its application for permission and I am urging both Sligo County Council and An Bord Pleanála to consider all of the factors, including the public health issues, involved and ensure that these important works, which affect thousands of residents in Sligo, can proceed”.