Mr Tom Higgin’s School Visit

Mr Tom Higgin’s visit to Moycarkey National School



3rd to 6th class and green school committee members attended a talk in the school hall today about the source of water in Moycarkey, water treatment in the area and water conservation ideas. The talk was given by Tom Higgins who works with the water treatment programme in the area.

In the olden days, the people of Moycarkey used the pump across the road from the school to get water. This would carried home in buckets. Wealthier families would of had their own well. A group scheme was set up 35 years ago in the area as procedures were needed to ensure that the community received a clean water supply.

The main source of our water is from a deep well which is located in Turtulla where it is pumped through a series of pipes to the Golf Course Cross, Pouldine, Galboola, Gruaige and surrounding areas. The main piping is about four miles in length and branches off into individual pipes to homes which are each fitted with their own valve and meter. The water supply to each home can be swiched on and off also. About half a million litres of water is pumped every day and preservation and protection of this resource is of the upmost importance.

The water treatment takes place in Turtulla. Water from the deep well is treated first of all with an ultra violet light which kills 99.9% of bacteria. Water is passed through the UV rods (which are stored in a stainless steel container). This is a very quick process. The bulbs are changed on an annual basis. As an extra precaution, sodium hydrochloride (chlorination) is added to the water before it is pumped. The sodium hydrochloride is 25 parts to 1,000,000 parts water. This process takes about 20 minutes. Alum is not added to the water supply as it is not necessary. It is only used in areas that have impurities in their water. No fluoride is added to the water either as it is not necessary with improved toothpaste formulas. Fluoride is often added to Town Council water treatments though.

The cost to purchase the water treatment equipment and set up the plant was 20,000 euro and each litre costs between 60/70 cent to treat. A grant from the County Council each year covers 70% of the cost, the other 30% coming from the community. There is fears, however that this grant will be retracted in the years to come. The government are currently in talks also to introduce water charges. The people that maintain the water treatment plant are voluntary.

Sewerage systems are in place in town areas. In more rural areas, septic tanks are used. It is important for water protection in the area that your tank is regularly checked.

Leaks are the main problem with the water supply as they can cause the water to become contaminated. Leaks can be caused by cold weather when pipes freeze and crack. It can be a lengthy process to find a leak. Homes are asked to do a leak check on a regular basis. To do this, turn off all water appliances in your home and check is your water meter still running. If it has stopped, there is no leak. If the dial is still moving, you may have a leak and it is important to notify the local representative.  


Many thanks to Mr Higgins for visiting the school.