Achill Water Supply Scheme Summer Contingency Plan – Dillon

Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon has welcomed additional funding secured and further developments in relation to the ongoing works and investment into the Achill Water Supply Scheme by Irish Water in partnership with Mayo County Council.


Deputy Dillon said “Further works are advancing to upgrade and to provide further resilience to this scheme before the summer tourist season begins.  Through the actions listed below Irish Water and Mayo County Council will endeavour to maintain a continuous compliant supply of water to all its customers and consumers on the island but would again appeal to all to ensure water use during peak demand is conserved and used for essential purposes only so everyone on the island can have an enjoyable stay.”


A publicity campaign will be run during the summer period to highlight water conservation tips, the enhanced first fix scheme and to encourage the prompt reporting of Leaks. Whilst the hydraulic capacity of the plant was increased as a result of the upgrade works completed during the Boil Water Notice period earlier this year the following works and are currently being delivered:-


  • Site accommodation works to facilitate the mobilisation of a containerised UV system to act as an emergency backup system at times when the plant is incapable of producing enough compliant water to meet demand.  It is expected this system will be brought into operation when the influx of tourists to the island is at its peak.  This UV system will be capable of providing up to an additional 1 million litres of water into the system daily.  The combined hydraulic flows from the plant and this UV System will potentially put 4 million litres of water into the system.  IW and MCC consider this UV system as a significant integral part of maximising the production of compliant water for use during peak demand periods.


  • Works are also underway to replace the existing underground pipeline from the source to the plant which will dispense with the over ground pipeline which was laid last August on an emergency basis.  Operational controls have been also installed on the upgraded clarifiers which are expected to assist in the regulation of the water temperature within the treatment process.


  • The ongoing Find and Fix programme on the Achill scheme has yielded significant results in reducing the leakage on the island thereby reducing the demand on the plant.  Works have been completed in several District Meter Areas within the island reducing the daily production by up to 300,000 litres per day to date.


  • A fully validated hydraulic model has been developed which is being used as a key aid in identifying areas within the distribution network which may struggle to maintain supply during peak demand periods.  High demand scenarios are being run through this computer model mimicking the performance of the existing distribution system on a pressure and flow basis helping to reconfigure parts of the system to maximise the level of service across the island.


Deputy Dillon added ”if there are issues with maintaining supply to certain areas of Achill Island the Irish Water Tankering Contractor will be on standby to provide tankers to top up reservoirs within these affected areas with compliant water”.