Works planned to help drought-stricken village and to stop water turning hair green in second community

Noreen Magner of Noreen's Hair Salon in Kildorrery, Co. Cork, washing a customer's hair with water obtained to facilitate her clients. Pic: Denis Minihane.

There's light at the end of the tunnel for a drought-stricken village and for a community where women have had their hair turned green by the public water supply.

For more than five years the people of Kildorrery, Co Cork, have suffered persistent problems with broken water mains and low water pressure due to an archaic reservoir.

Council officials have now confirmed that they have secured planning permission for a new reservoir to serve the village and its hinterland and expect to start construction on it by the end of this year.

Several kilometres of water mains have also been renewed. It is hoped that, together with the new reservoir, this will result in a far better supply for the area.

Families have regularly had to visit friends and relatives several kilometres away in order to avail of showers because of the inadequate supply.

Businesses have had to import milk churns full of water on a regular basis because of breakdowns in the system.

The news was welcomed by Cllrs Noel McCarthy, Frank O'Flynn and Deirdre O'Brien.

Cllr McCarthy said he is glad to see planning permission has been granted for the reservoir and asked for a timeline on its construction. When informed of this, he said he hopes this will be adhered to, saying: “Irish Water's record (on doing works there) has been very slow. The people of Kildorrery got a lot of promises over the years about timeframes and were always let down."

Meanwhile, the County Council is starting to tackle a rather peculiar situation which came to light in another North Cork village a couple of years ago.

Women who were dyeing their hair blonde found after that repeatedly washing it that it was turning green.

It happened to a number of women who were living in the Bweeng area and they were at a loss to how this was occurring, until a local hairdresser came up with the answer. She discovered that there was a high concentration of iron in the local water supply and this was the root of the problem.

Council engineers told a meeting of the council's Northern Division today that they are about to start work on treating the water to eradicate the problem, which was first highlighted by Cllr John Paul O'Shea.

Engineers said to achieve this they are planning to install a new chlorination and PH correcting system to lower acidity caused by the iron.

Noreen Magner of Noreen
Noreen Magner of Noreen's Hair Salon in Kildorrery, Co. Cork, washing a customer's hair with water obtained to facilitate her clients. Pic: Denis Minihane.

“This has been a long time coming and I hope it will be completed shortly,” Cllr O'Shea said.

Council engineers also told the meeting that water supply improvements are also being undertaken in the Ballydesmond and Kiskeam areas, which have also suffered from persistent water outages over the years.

They said a new reservoir is to be built which will serve both the communities, but they didn't provide a timeframe for construction.

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