Laois County Council HQ
People dumping TVs or trolleys in recently cleaned culverts is contributing to flooding woes in the Portlaoise area.
The news was revealed at the December meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, in response to a motion proposed by Cllr Willie Aird.
Cllr Aird called on the council to give a report regarding areas affected by recent flooding so that alleviation works can be undertaken to prevent future damage in the Mountmellick Road area, especially at Harpurs Lane, Liogard, Rossvale and on the Mountrath Road area at the junction for Boughlone, Pallas and Coolnamona.
“When you see something like this happening locally, you have to investigate and ask why is it happening,” he said, adding that the main drainage in Portlaoise did help alleviate the problem a little bit.
Supporting the motion, Cllr Noel Tuohy said there was problem at Glendowns, too, which could cause a flash flood.
Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said there is a culvert at Harpurs Lane which causes problems when it gets blocked up and the pipes are too small to take the flow of water. The water came close to the houses recently and residents had to go out and lift open manhole covers.
“The amount of rain that fell was exceptional,” she said.
In response to the motion, Mr Wes Wilkinson, senior executive engineer, said that that the council is checking culverts weekly and cleaning them. However, in some places the council cleans the culvert and then shortly after they find that someone has dumped a trolley or television there.
“It’s a combination of things, sometimes things get caught in the grill, we will look at a better way of addressing it,” he said.
In relation to the rainfall event experienced in late November, the majority of surface water issues in the Portlaoise Municipal District related to the areas on the north-west side of Portlaoise town (the Mountmellick Road area).
Drains, culverts and pipelines were cleared and jetted where required. The Portlaoise MD staff regularly monitor and maintain the inlet points to the major surface water culverts and surface water mains.
Mr Wilkinson said the council will be carrying out additional drain cleaning and jetting works in early 2018. Some survey works will also need to be carried out to understand the issues at certain locations.