Future plans to extract water directly from the river Suir to service Clonmel, will see the hard water issue in parts of the town improve marginally from ‘very hard’ to ‘hard’.
Clonmel Borough Council received a progress report this month from senior engineer with Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers, Gavin Reilly, on the plan to construct a new treatment plant, reservoir and associated works in the Marlfield area.
It is expected to take several years to reach building stage. Subject to approval and funding, when complete, the plant will have a capacity of 27,000m3. The scheme will see the eventual closure of the Poulavanogue Water Treatment Plant, operational since 1933. A number of hard water boreholes will be decommissioned, and both storage and the distribution network will be increased.
But the hard water issue was councillors’ main concern, particularly for home owners in north Clonmel. Mr Reilly said there will be an improvement in the hardness level but that the river Suir is a hard water source also. “We would be moving from a [current] groundwater source of 350 as a measure of hardness, to a surface water source of 250, so an improvement should be seen.”
Cllr Darren Ryan asked if that hard water could be treated at source in the new plant, but Mr Reilly replied that it is Government policy not to fund softening treatment.