Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara says he has received confirmation from Irish Water that the proposed replacement of the old watermain from Miltown Malbay to Mullagh will commence during the first quarter of 2021.
Deputy McNamara says a contractor (Healy Rae Plant Hire – HRPH) has been appointed to carry out the works, the First Phase (Site Investigation) of which has already been completed.
Meanwhile, Irish Water has confirmed to Deputy McNamara that four smaller but significant watermain replacement projects will be completed in Clare during the final quarter of 2020. They include the watermain at Mains Street in Scarriff, the Castlecrine to Kilmurray watermain, 2.5km of watermain at Milltown Road in Tulla, and the watermain in Parnell St, Ennis.
Responding to the update regarding the Miltown Malbay to Mullagh works, Deputy McNamara said, “I cautiously welcome this news from Irish Water as there have been numerous false starts regarding this project in recent years. It has been a frustrating and disruptive experience for the people of Miltown Malbay, Mullagh and Spanish Point, and those on surrounding Group Water Schemes with regular water outages occurring due to burst mains. I will also continue to press for upgrade works in Cree, Cooraclare and Doonbeg.”
“Irish Water has informed me that the delays have been caused by contractual issues,” stated Deputy McNamara. “Irish Water says the contract to replace the water main was originally awarded in 2018 to another contractor who later withdrew from the project. MRPH, the contractor that placed second in the procurement/tender stage, was consequently appointed in 2019. The contractor concluded Phase 1 (Site Investigation) in summer 2019. This contractor remains in place.”
He continued, “Irish Water says physical work can begin within three months of notification to the contractor, therefore should the funding become available from January 2021 works can commence during the first quarter of 2021. Irish Water says it expects to apply to Clare County Council for Road Opening Licences before the end of 2020. “
Meanwhile, Deputy McNamara says Irish Water has confirmed to him it is working with Clare County Council to minimise disruption to customers of surrounding group water schemes in the event of a future water main burst. Discussions between Irish Water and the operators of four Group Water Schemes are to take place. Any agreement would reduce water losses to houses within the affected group water schemes.