Progress in Gaoth Dobhair Sewerage Scheme as Construction of Pilot Phase set to Begin later this Year

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has welcomed the announcement that the demonstration project for the eagerly awaited Gaoth Dobhair sewerage scheme will proceed to construction before the end of the year.

 

It’s also understood that the final preliminary model and scheme layout will be finalised over the coming months, after which a contractor will be appointed to oversee the project’s delivery, with the procurement of system components then also to begin.

Meanwhile, Irish Water has also confirmed to Sinn Féin that all preparatory work, including the surveying of local properties set to partake in the pilot scheme has now been completed, and the company expects to meet with the relevant householders shortly to agree the final layout before installation is carried out.

Welcoming the latest development, Deputy Doherty said:

“There has been much progress and a number of very significant milestones which have been reached over recent months in relation to the Gaoth Dobhair sewerage scheme.

“Following updates received by Sinn Féin, it’s been confirmed that detailed designs are now being drawn up for the forty local homes which have agreed to take part in the project’s demonstration scheme.

“It’s understood that Irish Water will meet with individual householders over the next few months in order to agree the final layouts and that they will each be notified of these arrangements shortly.

“Once this is completed, the company says that a contractor with responsibility for delivering the demonstration project will be selected, while the procurement of specialised pump units will then commence.

 

“I’m also delighted to confirm that the preliminary model and layout for the overall network are due to be finalised in the coming months, with the company confirming that work will continue on the main project and in parallel with the demonstration phase, while it’s hoped that learnings from this pilot phase can be incorporated into the overall project so as to ensure its smooth delivery.

“It’s therefore expected that construction will commence on the project will begin towards the end of 2018.

“While this timeline is slightly later than had been forecast initially, this is nonetheless of course fantastic news and I am delighted that, to date, there has been such a phenomenal response from local residents and businesses who have fully engaged with the consultation process and have provided such useful and constructive feedback as part of its development.

“As I’ve commented before, it’s claimed that the scheme type being developed for Gaoth Dobhair, namely a pressurized sewer system, will be truly innovative and will allow for the residential and economic development of the area by providing an essential wastewater network for homes and businesses, while also guaranteeing water quality locally.

“Another positive is the fact that the company has already agreed to my suggestion the no connection fees will be levied on residents who have signed up to be part of the pilot project, while I am continuing to call for the fee in respect of the main project to be waived also.

“As everyone is acutely aware, the progress which is now being to advance this scheme has only been brought about as a result of the EU Commission’s decision to take infringement proceeding against the state for failing to deliver the scheme, a decision which was made on the back of a joint report submitted to the Commission in 2015 by my colleague MEP Matt Carthy and I.

“While this exciting work is now continuing with this further progress expected in the coming weeks and months, I must once again thank the people of Gaoth Dobhair for their amazing patience in anticipation of having this scheme developed, and I look forward to working closely with the local community to ensure that the scheme is finally deliver for Gaoth Dobhair.”