Notes from the Southern Committee meeting, 15th September 2014

1. Confirmation of Minutes

Cllr S McCarthy (FG):  MyPlace project corrections.  Had noted that the money given to the project was from the Town Council and did not come from the County Council.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Asked for figures for tonnages received at Civic Amenity Sites.  Hasn’t got them yet.  Also a commitment was given at last meeting for more detailed reporting on private wastewater treatment plants.  And there were questions about horses and their impounding at the last meeting; although answers could not be given by management, the queries should be noted.

2. Disposal of Property

(a) Disposal of freehold interest in property at 16 St. Mary’s Place, Carrigrohane to Gerald Weste.
(b) Disposal of land at 13 Mahon Terrace, Blackrock to Patrick O’Sullivan


3.  Progress Reports on Water Services Schemes

Cllr A Moynihan (FF):  Ballingeary scheme not included in current report.  Is hugely important.  Is there any feedback on the business case that was being advanced for this.  Also Coachford sewerage scheme.  Again critical that the CCC was advancing and the project has been handed over to Irish Water.  Recently EPA discharge licensing was being renewed on that scheme.  Any update.

Cllr M Hegarty (FG):  Shanagarry/Ballycotton scheme.  Comments on this please.  Are we going to see commencement during the period before 2016?  Also disappointed that Saleen has not been mentioned.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  See manganese treatment being installed at the Inniscarra water treatment plant.  Went to see the concentrations of manganese in the water supply but find that the most recent water analysis from CCC through the Irish Water website relates to Nov/Dec 2013.  Would like to know the concentrations of manganese in the water supply.  Also if one wants details on the scheme designs, where does one get them from?  Is it Irish Water or CCC?

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Wondering what manganese dioxide treatment means.  Have we a timescale on the completion of this?

Kevin Costello: Manganese gives a brown colour to the water.  Manganese dioxide is introduced at sand filter stage to neutralize the manganese.  To get rid of the colour, the mains have to be flushed.  The treatment plant has to be flushed also.  It can take a period to clear the colour.

The main issue with manganese is aesthetic.  There is no upper limit from the World Health Organisation.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Believes the WHO says most treatment plant operators aim towards a concentration of 0.5 mg/l in water supply.

Kevin Costello will confirm and revert.

Cllr O’Grady (SF):  Will manganese continuously be added to the water now?

Kevin Costello:  The description of “construction” refers to the fact that there are people on site.  It doesn’t mean there is civil engineering going on.  Flushing of the mains is needed and that is why the problem won’t disappear overnight.

Dwain O’Brien: The treatment for manganese is a layer manganese dioxide going into the sand filters.  So it is not really construction work as such.  The new bed will last for 4 years or so.

The CCC is conscious of the Ballingeary scheme and will keep pushing it.  They are wary of listing it on the Capital Works schemes because it is not on the Irish Water list.

Kevin Costello:  The programme you see here is an Irish Water investment programme.  The responsibility for the capital investment programme is now with Irish Water.

Cllr Moynihan (FF): Not good enough.  Do we know how Irish Water might be prioritizing sewerage schemes?  As we know, they seem to be concentrating on metering.  How do we move this scheme along.

Dwain O’Brien:  We don’t know how they’re prioritizing but we do know that CCC is having lots of interaction with them and Irish Water is coming back with lots of queries.  The same applies to the Shanagarry/Garryvoe scheme.

Cllr Conway (Ind): Asks if councilors could have copy of capital investment programme from Irish Water.

Declan Daly: This is it!  It was circulated with the minutes.

Kevin Costello:  Irish Water has an interim investment programme from 2014 – 16.  The Coachford Sewerage Scheme is included in that.

Cllr. M Hegarty (FG):  High level of lime in the water schemes in and around Cloyne was raised here a few weeks ago.  Is there anything can be done to reduce the expense this is putting on people?

Kevin Costello:  Has not heard this issue to be a problem in Cloyne before.  Will put the issue to the drinking water engineer for this area and revert.

Declan Daly:  Will raise the issue of availability of results with Irish Water in their next meeting as queried by Cllr D’Alton.  Acknowledges that this query was raised at the July South Committee meeting also.

Will also talk to Irish Water about getting design of schemes to Members should they require them.


Cllr Andrais: Queries on the Lee – cutting away the branches and clearing part of the river has helped but we need to keep an eye on the bigger aspect of this, i.e. the overall flood defence scheme.  Is there any feedback from the OPW on the overall defence scheme for Ballingeary/Inchigeela?  Also on Ballyvourney, the preliminary design has been done for this.  Is there anything back from OPW?

Cllr McGrath (FF):  Glenbrook flooding scheme – the Southern Committee report has been giving the same update for the last number of meetings.  Where are we going with this project?  This year will be the 5th anniversary of the flooding incident.  Extremely disappointing that the scheme has not been completed.  The OPW allocated funding merely within a matter of weeks of the incident occurring.  Cllr McGrath’s view is that the level of investment outlined in the report is not required.  Locals agree.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Supports Cllr McGrath’s concerns about the failure of this scheme to advance.  Horrendous damage was done by the flooding incident and in the interim, local residents have had to put their own flood protection measures in place and endure premiums on house insurance.  Passed photos of the aftermath of the flooding incident to the Executive.  Asked if there was any kind of interaction the Members might have with the engineers/management to resolve this before this winter.

Kevin Costello:  In addition to the river cleaning works, the overall study may lead to flood relief schemes for Ballingeary/Inchigeela.

Cllr Moynihan (FF):  Hugely positive that minor works have been going ahead.  Also hugely positive that the scheme is with the OPW.  But is there any feedback yet?

Joan Dineen:  Confirmation and review of flooding events and maps is underway.  Then they will go through all the options for flood control in these locations.  There will be 2 public consultation days.  Once that is done, the option selection starts.  So the scheme is well advanced at the moment.

The Ballingeary Flood Relief Scheme is in Stage 1.  It is being designed in-house by the OPW.  They are at the option selection stage and then there will be public consultation.

Kevin Costello:  The Glen scheme is designed but there is a funding problem.  He is aware it is being said that the scheme is over-designed.

Joan Dineen:  We got the consultants to have a look at this scheme in detail.  There are 2 discrete parts of work involved.  The first is at Maulbaun.  The second and main portion of work is in the Glen.  One of the main issues is that the pipes that are going from the trash screen to the harbour are undersized.  So that pipework has to be replaced and that is where the shortfall comes into it.  Management has been looking into ways we can get funding for this work.  The design of it is ready to go.

Kevin Costello:  CCC is considering different options as to how to fund this scheme.

Declan Daly:  Only €110k available from the OPW.  Will have to be considered in the context of a capital programme for the year.  Sees that members are anxious to see this scheme included.  Cannot make any promises but will remember.

Cllr Creed (FG):  Welcomes progress made on Incigeelagh scheme.  Welcomes cleaning of the rivers in Inchigeelagh.  Small money would go a long way to do this type of clearance in other places and would pay dividends.

4.  Officials’ Reports

Declan Daly:  Some items in the financial report should not be there, e.g. pensions.  Will ensure these are removed next time round.

5.  Notices of Motion
(a)  By Councillor Noel Collins
(i) “With water maters installed and set to be in operation in 2015, Council seek a report from the HSE on a) the serious concerns of some consumers surrounding contamination from lead pipes and small amounts dissolving in the water supply and b) in such eventualities and on health grounds – with whom does responsibility rest?”

Cllr Collins (Ind):  Sought legal advice on this before raising the motion.  Irish Water will have a liability if the water supplied by it causes damage to a person or a person’s property.  Lead is a poison.  Asks for someone to second the motion.

Cllr Hegarty (FG) seconds the motion.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind):  Supports the motion strongly.  Would firstly like CCC to clarify whether there is any part of the public water network which still has lead piping.  Because it will be Irish Water’s responsibility now to replace this.  Secondly, acknowledges that Irish Water is not assuming responsibility for pipework in private houses beyond the stopcock.  This is where the highest incidence of lead piping is.  Suggests that we perhaps could support as a Committee the sending of a motion to the Department requesting that it would grant aid the replacement of lead pipework beyond the stopcock in private houses.

Cllr Collins (Ind):  Would like to agree that this would be an addendum to his motion.

O’Grady (SF):  CCC social housing has lead piping.  Does CCC have any plans to upgrade this?  Also social housing was sold off over the years to private individuals who bought their houses in good faith.  These have lead pipes.  Is there any grant available to help homeowners to upgrade this?

Cllr Moynihan (FF):  Often lead piping is on the householder’s side.  With Irish Water going around the country and installing meters, are they going to connect to a known dangerous pipe?  Can we get this clarification from Irish Water?

Cllr Conway (Ind):  Would like to support my addendum to the motion.  Also supports Cllr Moynihan’s question. Believes much of the pipework around Blarney is lead.

Declan Daly:  Report circulated from the Executive in advance of the meeting outlines the CCC response.  CCC would have no issue with the Committee’s writing to the Department asking for a grant to replace lead piping in private households.  Expects that Irish Water will not be replacing private piping on users side.  There are locations where there is lead piping left on the public side.  Expects that to be minimal at present.  The amount of lead in the water depends on the acidity of the water – there is more lead in the system if the water is acidic.  So the presence of lead pipes itself may not be an issue; it may the combination of the water type and the pipe/fittings.  In the last number of years, the EU limits applied to drinking water in relation to lead have reduced considerably.  Two or three years ago, Irish Water would have been in compliance; now they are not in compliance any more.

Cllr K McCarthy (SF):  Supports the motion.  Could we ask Irish Water will they come into people’s private property to install meters.  Some pipes go through people’s back gardens.

Declan Daly:  Will have to check up the exact situation with regard to the extent of lead piping in social housing.  Also an issue with terraced housing – supply comes in through the front door and through the house.  Makes it very difficult to replace lead piping.

Kevin Costello:  Irish Water has said that if there is a serious leak within the house or curtilage of the house, Irish Water will come in and repair the leak on a one-off basis.  As far as he is aware, that is the only circumstance under which they will work on private mains.  With regard to installation of meters in private property, we will have to check with Irish Water.

(ii)                  “Council report on what inspections, if any, are carried out on beach water for e.coli infection and if warning signs are warranted about bacteria in sea waters.”

Members acknowledged the report circulated by the Executive in advance of the meeting and the motion was passed.

6.  Any other business