Upgrade at Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant fast tracked

Entrance to the Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant at Enniscorthy

By Dan Walsh

Water tankers are available at Mr Price, Clonhaston; Ross Road Recycling Centre and Enniscorthy Cemetery, Blackstoops. Water from tankers should be boiled before use.

Irish Water have taken a decision to fast-track essential works at the Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant at Enniscorthy with a view to lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as possible.

To resolve issues at the plant, Irish Water has fast-tracked funding to carry out essential operational and maintenance works. A long-term, multi-million plan for the upgrade of the plant is already in train with a significant upgrade of the Enniscorthy Water Supply Scheme planned. 

That proposed plan includes upgrades to the intake at Clonhaston, raw water main replacement and significant investment at the Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant itself. The project is at design and planning phase, with works programmed to progress to tender in 2022 and construction to commence in 2023.  

Speaking about the immediate challenges faced with the supply and the Boil Water Notice, Irish Water’s Ronan Walsh said; “We have taken the decision to fast-track these essential works this week with a view of lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as possible if all goes to plan. We began by replacing the filter media on Monday morning. There are three of these filters and they do take some time to remove the media and then put them back in place. Once we have the first filter complete, we will test and monitor the supply. This will inform us if we can continue to work on the other two filters while lifting the Boil Water Notice. 

“There is an also additional challenge now in terms of water availability. Yesterday (Tuesday) a major burst water main resulted in a widespread outage which will leave a significant amount of people without water. This will also delay the commissioning of the first filter and we will assess the impact over the next 24-hours.

“We understand that this is a big weekend for businesses and the general community, with festivals and events planned. I would like to reassure everyone that this is being prioritised by Irish Water and would like to thank them for their patience and co-operation. We are working as hard as we can, with our colleagues and partners in Wexford County Council to get this Boil Water Notice lifted as soon as possible. I must add however, that as public health is Irish Water’s number one priority, we will only lift the notice once it is safe to do so, and in consultation with the HSE.”

Last Friday, May 27th, Irish Water, working in partnership with Wexford County Council reminded residents and businesses of Enniscorthy that the Boil Water Notice, which was first issued on May 23rd would remain in place. The community of Enniscorthy and its environs are again reminded to continue to boil their water before consumption as the Boil Water Notice is still in place. 

The notice was issued to protect the health of approximately 11,187 consumers supplied by the Enniscorthy Public Water Supply scheme following the ongoing detection of cryptosporidium found at the Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant. 

The Irish Water customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates, please visit the Water Supply Updates section of the Irish Water website.

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