South Armagh to benefit from multi-million pound upgrade to water supply

September 7, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

The mains water infrastructure across south Armagh is to benefit from a multi-million pound upgrade.  

Northern Ireland Water is to finance the £5.9million project which entails upgrading 90km of water mains pipes from Slieve Gullion, through Forkhill and Mullaghbawn, to Crossmaglen.

When complete, the work is expected to dramatically improve the quality and reliability of water supply in the area while also reducing leakage.  It is anticipated the work will begin within weeks.

A spokesperson for NI Water said the existing infrastructure does not have the capacity to accommodate an increase in housing or tourism in the area.

“The work is part of the ongoing water mains rehabilitation project which represents a total investment of over £100 million across Northern Ireland over the next five years,” the spokesperson said.

Crossmaglen SDLP councillor Geraldine Donnelly has lobbied extensively for the upgrade over the last number of years.

“I have had several complaints from across the area on the issue of poor water supply, in particular in the areas of the Castleblayney and Cornonagh Roads.  There has been a fairly constant interruption to supply and problems with low pressure in some areas around Crossmaglen,” Councillor Donnelly said.

In the past Water Service has made only minor repairs to pipes and she is very pleased the whole system will be overhauled.

“This work is long overdue and this investment will save money in the long term compared with doing small repairs here and there, which has been the practice of the Water Service in recent years,” she added.

Sinn Féin councillor in Crossmaglen, Terry Hearty, also welcomed news of the investment.

“This is a major investment by the Department of Regional Development in the water infrastructure of the area.  This initiative must be highly commended and demonstrates the commitment by DRD to providing the highest possible standards for the people of south Armagh,” Councillor Hearty said.