Limerick County Council has become the first Irish recipient of a prestigious internationally-recognised quality standard for the delivery of drinking water. Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, presented the Council with ISO 24512:2007 certification for its management of the Kilmallock Water Treatment Scheme, which serves 2,500 customers in south County Limerick.
The standard is awarded by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) member body for the Republic of Ireland.
Cllr. Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council congratulated the Council staff, both past and present, whom he said “have committed their time and expertise to ensuring that some 2,500 customers are delivered high quality drinking water. Planning, organisation and hard work by staff has been the key to your hard-earned success today.”
According to Maurice Buckley, CEO of the NSAI: “Though our work is often invisible, standards are part of your life every day. We all depend on standards for everything to run smoothly, but most of the time we don’t even notice. You expect that the water you drink is of high quality – this is one of the most essential services that can be provided. As the first organisation in Ireland to achieve ISO 24512, Limerick County Council has shown its commitment to delivering quality drinking water supplies to the local community and I congratulate them for their dedication.”
Conn Murray, Limerick City and County Manager commented: “This international standard for the management of drinking water utilities is recognition of the commitment of Limerick City and County Councils to the provision of high quality water supplies. Both Limerick City and County Councils in association with the Department have invested considerably in water services infrastructure down through the years. The provision of water services is set to undergo significant change during the coming years, and both Councils look forward playing a central role in this transition.”
Kilmallock is one of the oldest walled towns in Ireland; and the location of the town may have been dictated by water when in the 11th century, when the older 7th century monastery moved from the Hill of Kilmallock to a site alongside the River Loobagh near the present town centre.
The current water treatment plant at Ballingaddy was opened in 1987. The water drawn from the River Loobagh undergoes a full treatment process at one location before being pumped to the reservoir. The plant is currently supplying over 1100 cubic metres or approximately 250,000 gallons per day to the town but has the capability of supplying another 1100 cubic metres day if required. All the processes within the plant are monitored on electronic systems.
Currently, four out of each five houses in County Limerick receive piped water from a Council source. Over the past 20 years the number of houses on mains water has increased at 3% per annum. The County Council also provides support to the Private Group Water Scheme sector through the provision of grants and subsidies, along with technical advice and water quality supervision. Meanwhile, Well Grants are made available for households on private wells who need to upgrade their water supply.