Irish Water has explained the cause of the latest flood of sewage onto upper Ballycarroll road last Friday morning August 28, while adding that it was mainly liquid waste.
“On Thursday night last (27th August) following heavy rainfall the duty pump in the pumping station tripped and the standby pump failed to come on due to an electrical issue at the time. There is an alarm system in place for alerting the caretaker who responded the following morning. The problem was electrical in nature and needed the input of an Electrical Contractor to resolve,” the company stated.
The leak is “not acceptable” the company say, but note the manhole being bolted down, done by Laois County Council in 2010 to prevent further leaks.
“While not acceptable it must be noted that the manholes in the vicinity are bolted down and any seepage around the edges of the covers was limited more to liquids than solids,” the statement said.
It promises to clean the road better for future spills.
“Laois County Council, working on behalf of Irish Water will ensure that any further spills of this nature are cleaned up and disinfectant used to clean off the road,” Irish Water states.
It explains that sewers in the area are combined and excess surface water is entering the combined system, causing “a major impact on the network in the absence of storm holding tank facilities at the Portarlington WWTP”.
That sewage plant is to undergo upgrades beginning in the first quarter of 2016.
“New storm tanks also need to be installed but this work cannot be carried out until the upgrade work is completed. In the meantime, a full electrical examination of the Pumping Station is being undertaken by Laois County Council, working on behalf of Irish Water in order to mitigate against further electrical problems of this nature,” the Irish Water statement ends.