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TD highlights problem of rusty water in Lifford

This picture speaks a thousand words, says local TD Pearse Doherty.

Water in a Lifford home over the weekend.
Water in a Lifford home over the weekend.
Image: Pearse Doherty via Twitter

DONEGAL DEPUTY PEARSE Doherty has called on the Minister for the Environment to provide funding to fix ongoing water problems in the Lifford area.

The Sinn Féin TD published a picture of discoloured water flowing from a tap in a Lifford property yesterday evening and told TheJournal.ie that the image “speaks a thousand words”.

He has submitted a question to Minister Phil Hogan to query if money will be made available for new pipes in the area.

He said the problems had been ongoing for six years and it is currently impossible for some residents to wash dishes, have showers or even make cups of tea.

The picture above was taken last weekend and almost a week later, the water remains discoloured. The homeowner says the problem occurs about twice a month.

Donegal County Council says it will need national funding to replace the old, rusted and broken pipeline between Stranorlor and Lifford. In a statement to TheJournal.ie, it said:

Whilst the source water in question is very good, the nature of the pipeline between Ballybofey and Lifford is the main cause of water discolouration in some areas when bursts are experienced. Council staff are continuously managing the network to ensure constant supply to the public and are continuously scouring the pipelines to protect water quality. Upgrade of the supply pipeline is required however, to maintain water quality and ensure continuity of supply.
In this regard, following a county-wide survey of the mains network, a significant element of the main is proposed to be replaced between Ballybofey and Lifford, subject to national funding being made available. This would bring about the necessary improvements that would enable the Council to guarantee a continuous quality service to the area.

Doherty says the council and the Department need to stop “passing the buck”.

“In this day and age, the two need to get their heads together,” he said.

The local TD noted that the water problems were becoming a financial burden on families, with many having to replace clothes, kettles and washing machines.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Gerry Crawford says the problem needs to be addressed at national level urgently.

“We don’t want to hand over a disaster to Irish Water,” he added.

The Department of the Environment has advised that the issue is a local one that will be addressed by council.

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