Irish Water is denying that they are putting a roof on a Dublin reservoir amid fears of a terrorist attack.
Following the announcement that Stillorgan Reservoir is to get an €80million up grade from Irish Water many media reports today said the reason behind the revamp was to prevent it becoming a target for terrorist attacks.
Irish Water however has said the Stillorgan facility is only one of two reservoirs in Ireland that is not yet covered and it was now time to get a roof on the facility.
At the moment drinking water for the southside is processed mainly at the State’s largest water treatment plant at Baltimore Eustace in Co Kildare, before being piped to Stillorgan.
However, after having undergone expensive treatment at Ballymore Eustace to ensure it is fit for human consumption, the water then sits in the open air in three large reservoirs in Stillorgan before being piped into homes.
Head of Major Projects at Irish Water Geoff O’Sullivan said:
“There’s birds flying over it all the time, with the obvious consequences there, and if a cat or dog dies, it could well end up in there.
“And in the summer there are times when people break in to have a swim, so there is a risk of contamination.”
The water in the reservoirs is treated with chlorine and ultraviolet light before it is sent to homes, which reduces the risk of contaminants entering the system, but Mr O’Sullivan said this is no longer considered an acceptable solution.
“This is one of the last remaining open reservoirs of its size in Europe and leaving treated drinking water exposed to the environment is now considered an unacceptable contamination risk,” he said.
“Safeguarding the quality of drinking water is a top priority for Irish Water.
“We have committed to investing approximately €80m to ensure the upgrade to the reservoir provides the long term solution that is required to secure the water supply.
“This is part of a national investment plan which is being implemented on the basis of greatest need under our 25 year strategy, the Water Services Strategic Plan.”
A public consultation on the plans is opening today.