Minister for Planning Eoghan Murphy will have the final say on a vital planning application to upgrade the Lough Talt Water Supply Scheme in Sligo.
Efforts are underway to upgrade the plant which is the source of a cryptosporidium outbreak affecting 13,000 people in south and west Sligo.
Irish Water confirmed yesterday that a Boil Water Notice put in place at the start of February remains in place but it remains unclear how long that notice will remain in place.
Irish Water is finalising a new planning application to Sligo County Council to upgrade the Lough Talt plant.
It will be the first document of its kind submitted under the European IROPI mechanism.
This mechanism basically means that the public interest overrides any other objections to planning.
In this case planning has already been turned down twice as it’s located in an area of special conservation – IROPI will override that.
Irish Water is finalising the application and it’s expected to be with Sligo County Council within 2 weeks.
There is then a five week period for public submissions.
After that the Council will submit a report to the Minister for Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy within about two weeks and it is Minister Murphy who will have the final say on it.
But based on that timeframe – it will be at least two more months before the report is on his desk.
Meanwhile, people in at least 16 townlands mainly in Sligo but also in a small area of Mayo have to continue to boil their water before use.
Irish Water says it’s important to note though that once boiled, the water is perfectly safe to consume and there’s no need for people to buy bottled water.
Irish Water is expected to issue a further update on the situation tomorrow as testing and sampling of the supply at Lough Talt continues.
Meanwhile the issue was discussed in detail at the Ballymote Tubbercurry Muncipal Council meeting yesterday.
Speaking to Ocean FM News, Councillor Jerry Lundy said that while everyone is affected business say they are struggling most with trying to cope with the inconvenience: