22/08/2015 VISITA A TOMIÑO (COXAPO)

VISITA A TOMIÑO

El sábado 22 de agosto vecinos de Abegondo realizaron una visita a Tomiño y Tui para conocer las experiencias llevadas a cabo por la Comunidad General de Aguas de Galicia (COXAPO).

Dicha asociación lleva 10 años trabajando para mejorar las traída vecinales de los municipios de Pontevedra. Su experiencia constituye un estupendo ejemplo de las medidas que se podrían implementar en las traídas de Abegondo.

El programa de eventos fue el siguiente:

  • A primera hora de la mañana se visitó la traída vecinal de Rebordáns ubicada en el ayuntamiento de Tui. Esta traída está constituida por 263 usuarios y se encuentra dentro del Parque Natural de Monte Aloia. Cabe destacar el cuidado y mimo que han puesto a la hora de acondicionar el lugar para el  establecimiento de estas infraestructuras en un espacio natural protegido, consiguiendo reducir al  máximo impacto visual y ambiental en la zona.
  • Seguidamente se visitó la traída vecinal de Barro (Tomiño) compuesta por 199 usuarios y en las que destacan las magnificas instalaciones del depósito de cabecera.
  • Luego los vecinos de Abegondo fueron a ver la traída vecinal de Luneda-Sardiñeira  formada por 36 usuarios. Esta traída de tamaño medio, es quizás la más parecida a las existentes en el ámbito de actuación del proyecto.
  • Para terminar la mañana,  se realizó una demostración de como proceder a la limpieza de un pozo de barrena en el Delirio del Poderoso. Este lugar, en el que se sitúa una de las captaciones de la traída de Estás, ha sido acondicionado por los vecinos como merendero. Las esculturas de Antúnez Pousa rinden un singular tributo al agua.

En todas estas zonas se puede apreciar el respeto que tienen los vecinos por el medio que les rodea y el buen estado de conservación de las instalaciones y su entorno, casi siempre montes vecinales. Un buen ejemplo de su nivel de concienciación medioambiental es la gestión de las captaciones, en las que han implementado soluciones para poder captar sólo el agua que necesitan, permitiendo que la restante continúe su curso.

También se puede ver  el esmero de los vecinos y la organización del trabajo vecinal llevado a cabo para conseguir que los sistema de abastecimiento vecinales no tengan nada que envidiar a los sistemas centralizados de titularidad municipal. El trabajo llevado acabo aquí aún no se ha terminado, “seguimos o pé do cañón traballando día a día en novas melloras“.

Durante la comida que cerró la jornada se intercambiaron experiencias entre los vecinos responsables de las traídas vecinales  de Tomiño y Abegondo que explicaron uno a uno sus circunstancias, problemas y, en el caso de los vecinos de Tomiño, soluciones.

En conclusión, es una suerte poder contar en Galicia con COXAPO. Esta asociación sin ánimo de lucro ha demostrado que con formación, información y pequeñas subvenciones es posible resolver los problemas del abastecimiento autónomo y que las traídas vecinales suponen una alternativa viable a los sistemas municipales para la dotación de agua en el rural disperso, dónde la viabilidad técnico-económica de infraestructuras centralizadas está severamente limitada.

22-25/10/2014 REPORT ON STUDY TRIP OF IRISH RURAL WATER SECTOR

En el siguiente ENLACE puede descargarse el informe completo de la visita de estudio.

Day 1

Former National Co-ordinator (now National Policy Advisor) with the NFGWS, Seán Clerkin, and NFGWS Quality Assurance Officer, Jean Rosney, joined Brian for the first stage of the tour, meeting the overseas delegates at Dublin airport.

Tom Brennan. Sheepgrange GWS

 

The first stop was at Sheepgrange GWS, one of several group water schemes near Drogheda, County Louth, that are amongst the oldest community-owned drinking water supplies in Ireland, having been established in the early 1960s.

Under the Rural Water Programme, Sheepgrange recently constructed a new treatment facility and reservoir (€100,000), as part of a wider network upgrade costing €500,000. This scheme supplies 56 domestic and 2 farms from a borehole supply. The wells are in a tillage zone and nitrates levels were formerly high, but these have dropped significantly in recent years. In the past, a direct pumping system was used, but the provision of a reservoir tank means that all connections are now fed by gravity flow.

Due to the scheme’s success in reducing unaccounted for water (through universal metering), the reservoir tank has 3 days supply, so levels are controlled to ensure that a fresh chlorinated supply is maintained for distribution.

Disinfectant is manufactured on site (the only scheme visited that employs this process). Tom Brennan, who manages the treatment plant on the scheme’s behalf, explained the process.

Peadar McGuinness, Senior Engineer with the local statutory authority (Louth County Council) gave an account of the Rural Water Programme in the county. Formerly, most schemes were failing to meet the parameters for drinking water, with particular problems in relation to E.coli and Coliform bacteria, as well as Nitrates on some. Today, schemes across the county are fully compliant. He expressed the view that the chlorination system in place in Sheepgrange is particularly appropriate for small rural water supplies, as the relatively low demand means that supplies made on site are fresh, as opposed to purchased Sodium Hypochlorite which will ‘go off’.

After leaving Sheepgrange, the delegation proceeded to neighbouring Tullyallen GWS, a 170-house supply that has managed to reduce nitrate levels in raw water from 85 mg/litre to less than 10 mg/litre. The cordon sanitaire approach adopted towards borehole protection (with the co-operation of the local landowner) was explained by GWS chairperson, Gerard O’Brien.

Mayoral welcome to Monaghan

Mayoral welcome to Monaghan

After a brief engagement with the Mayor of County Monaghan who welcomed the delegation to the county with the highest proportion of households on community-owned GWS supplies, the tour continued to Aughnashalvey GWS, where they were welcomed by schemes administrator, Geraldine Connolly, chairperson Hugh O’Reilly and several committee members. This scheme has approximately 700 domestic connections and is in an area of intensive poultry production, with high numbers of beef and dairy cattle also, as well as mushroom houses. The scheme is supplied from a lake source (Kilcorran Lough) which is within 200 metres of the international frontier with Northern Ireland. As with most lakes in County Monaghan, Kilcorran is eutrophic, with occasional algal blooms. Having completed an assessment of the source, the scheme has initiated a long-term protection strategy, including agreement by farmers to keep grazing animals out of the water. As a quid pro quo, the GWS has supplied each farmer with electric fencing, drinkers for cattle and a water allowance to compensate for the loss of free lake water.

As with most of the other group water schemes in the county, Aughnashalvey is part of a Design Build Operate (DBO) contract with a drinking water service provider (in this case Veolia Water). Through this 20-year contract, the GWS is obliged to maintain raw water quality and quantity within agreed parameters, while the DBO operator must provide drinking water that is in full compliance with the Drinking Water Regulations. There are financial penalties where either party to the contract fails to meet its obligations.

Following a tour of the DBO treatment plant (which includes full DAF treatment as well as disinfection), the scheme provided a demonstration of line scouring, stressing the importance of regular flushing of mains and measurement of turbidity and residual chlorine levels as controls. The tour also included a visit to the high reservoir site used by the GWS, including the on-line monitoring systems that are in place there, plus secondary chlorination. Monitoring systems, measuring flow along the distribution network, were also explained by scheme caretaker, Gary McQuaid.

Day 1 concluded with a round table discussion in the community-owned Sliabh Beagh Hotel, hosted by Tydavnet GWS. Seán Clerkin provided an account of the development and progress to date of the Rural Water Programme, while Carlos explained the Life Rural Supplies project. Given the late hour, further contributions to the round-table discussion were deferred. Members of the Tydavnet and Aughnashalvey GWS committees joined the delegation for dinner.

Day 2

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Community meeting at Bunn GWS

The tour left for Donegal at 8.15am, stopping in Derry briefly before proceeding to Bunn GWS, Ireland’s most northerly community-owned drinking water supply and an outstanding example of community endeavour.

The delegation was hosted in the local community centre, with many members of the scheme in attendance, including all of the committee.

Established in 1975 to supply 25 domestic connections, Bunn now has 88 domestic connections on a 3km distribution network. The supply comes primarily from a spring, with two boreholes as back-up. All are very well protected with the co-operation of local landowners.

Plant Bunn GWS

Plant Bunn GWS

Through universal metering of connections and a simple but effective on-line system, there is zero wastage of water and daily demand is maintained at 26.5m3 across the scheme.

After passing through a slow sand filter, the water is sterilised using a UV treatment system and chlorine. Only 1 litre of 13% chlorine is required per week, using a flow proportional dosing system. A pure chlorine is used, rather than a Sodium Hypochlorite mix. Because it is less bulky, this product suits the delivery and storage requirements of remote communities.

The next stop was Meenabool GWS in the Dún Lúiche area of Gaoth Dobhair, a Gaelic-speaking area of West Donegal. Raw water is abstracted from a spring on Errigal mountain. It passes through slow sand filtration before chlorination. There are 38 domestic connections currently on the supply, but there are plans to extend the supply throughout the district to serve approximately 100 homes as well as businesses. The delegates were led on a tour of the plant and filter beds by Séamus Ó Gallachóir (Chairperson), Eugene Mooney (Caretaker) and by Adrian O’Donnell, Senior Engineer, Donegal County Donegal.

Meenabool reservoir

Meenabool reservoir

One of the issues raised during this site visit was the limitations of online monitoring systems in remote areas and, in particular, the issue of recalibration of instrumentation and the need for locals to be trained in this, as the needless call-out of professional companies is unsustainable.

The long-term implications of climate change on the carbon content of lakes in the West of Ireland creates an issue for all drinking water suppliers in that region. The final visit on Day 2 was Townawully GWS, a 100-house scheme supplied from a mountain lake source impacted by high TOC, particularly in autumn. THMs have been an ongoing issue for this supply and scheme organiser, Éamonn McGinty, explained the function of an array of filtration systems designed to remove colour and minimise TOC levels. This system has been built up incrementally, using the limited resources at the disposal of the scheme. However, as THM levels were still exceeding the max, a further filtration system was added recently with support from Donegal County Council under the Rural Water Programme.

There has been insufficient monitoring since the installation of this system to determine if it has been successful. Having said that, the local community is extremely satisfied with the clarity of the water since this system was introduced.

In addition to filtration, this small scheme has installed Ultra Violet treatment and chlorine disinfection.

Despite limited resources, a caretaker is employed to check the plant on a daily basis, implement QA procedures and perform backwashing on one of the array of filters (that is not capable of automatic backwashing).

Day 3

The plan was to visit three small DBO schemes in south east Sligo, with the main focus being Corrick (Ballinafad), a 95-house scheme. Representatives of Corrick met the delegation, as did representatives of Keash GWS and Culfadda GWS (the first scheme in Ireland to install universal metering).

Ballinafad Corick

Ballinafad Corick

Also present was Sligo County Council Rural Water liaison Officer, Kathleen McTiernan and representatives of the local DBO service provider, Coffey Water.

It was explained that uneven raw water quality, including spikes in weather events, had prompted the development of a borehole close to the former lake source. Springs in a karstified area are also problematic and these are due to be phased out of production in the coming weeks.

Jim Ganley

Jim Ganley

After a visit to the Corrick water treatment works, the delegates met Jim Ganley, a (now retired) senior official from the Department of the Environment and the person credited, along with Seán Clerkin, of developing the Rural Water Programme.

In the afternoon, the delegation visited two spring source schemes in County Roscommon, a karstified landscape that has been the subject of serious water quality issues on both public and GWS supplies. The limitations of early efforts to remedy problems in the county’s GWS sector were explained at Pollacat Springs GWS. GWS caretaker/manager Anthony Lee explained that although this 400-house scheme was upgraded in 2003, insufficient raw water analysis in advance of the upgrade meant that the upgrade proved insufficient to deal with raw water variation. A further treatment process has been approved and is due to be implemented in the coming months.

The implications of deficient preparatory work in terms of raw water analysis were again stressed at Mid Roscommon GWS, a 750-house supply. Because of karstified bedrock, there can be rapid and serious contamination of local drinking water sources. The delegation visited one such source, Ogulla spring, which has been closed since mid summer following contamination thought to have come from silage effluent. Luckily the scheme had a back-up well that it could rely on and the importance of having a back-up option (whether of raw or treated water) was emphasised.

Roscommon presentations

Roscommon presentations

Noel Carroll, manager of the scheme, and Patricia Bohan of Roscommon County Council explained the steps taken in the aftermath of the contamination incident to identify the source of the problem, while the delegation also learned that ZOC delineation is currently being carried out by the Geological Survey of Ireland and independent hydrogeologists on all GWS drinking water sources in the county, as a first step in implementing informed source protection plans.

A presentation on the evolution and costs of the Rural Water Programme in Roscommon was provided by NFGWS development officer, Joe Gallagher. Representatives of other schemes in the county also attended this event.

The formal work of the study trip was concluded that evening with a further round-table presentation by participants on water related issues in their area of competence.

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Brian MacDonald. Research & Evaluation Officer, NFGWS

It shone a positive media spotlight on the achievements of these voluntary run entities and it gave a real sense of pride and accomplishment to the organisers of schemes and to the communities they serve. This point was emphasised by John Heslin, a member of the Board of the NFGWS, and by two other Board members – Paddy Ward and Hugh O’Reilly – who met the delegation in Monaghan.

In addition, the study trip increased understanding in relation to common challenges on water issues that impact on rural communities across the EU and it underlined the potential for further collaboration and exchange of ideas between regulators and communities in the member states.

Certainly, the energy, interest and friendliness displayed by our friends from the Life Rural Supplies Project in Galicia has been commented on by all of those they met. That we were joined on the trip by friends from other parts of Galicia and from Scotland and the North of Ireland only helped to make the experience more informative for everyone involved, as we had a wide diversity of experience in various water related areas.

Brian MacDonald. 31 October 2014

Tour participants

1. Adrián Marquez (Secretary of Abegondo)
2. Carlos Ameijenda Mosquera (Project manager – Municipality of Abegondo)
3. Bibiana Santiso Naveira (Translator)
4. Roberto Arias Sánchez (Assistant Director- Authority river basin of Galicia Costa)
5. Raquel Piñeiro Rebolo (Technical – Authority river basin of Galicia Cost)
6. Elvira Iñiguez Pichel (Head of Section – Galician Ministry of Health)
7. Ana María Pazo Vázquez (Technical – Galician Ministry of Health)
8. Juan Fernando Castro Insua (Technical – Galician Ministry of Rural Areas)
9. Rafael Carrera Díaz (COXAPO)
10. Alberto Veiras Mejuto (Veiras Ingeniería, S.L.)
11. Berni Corr. [Drinking Water Inspectorate, DOENI]
12. Gail Walker [Citizens Advice Scotland, Consumer Regulator for Water]
13. Lynne McMinn [Drinking Water Regulator for Scotland team]
14. Brian MacDonald [Research & Evaluation Officer, NFGWS]

25/9/2014 SELECCIÓN DE PARCELAS PARA LA INSTALACIÓN DE PIEZÓMETROS

A2_PIEZÓMETROS

Posible ubicación en las inmediaciones del río da Furoca

El jueves 25 de septiembre de 2014, técnicos de Augas de Galicia, la Universidade de A Coruña, el Concello de Abegondo y la empresa adjudicataria visitaron los emplazamientos en los que serán instalados los tres piezómetros que formarán la de red de control de aforos y de calidad de las aguas (más información).

VISITA DE ESTUDIO A IRLANDA

nfgws_educate communities

Antecedentes y motivación: el pasado 18 de junio de 2014, en el marco de la 2ª Jornada de Abastecimiento Rural del proyecto Life Rural Supplies, Brian Mac Domhnaill presentó las experiencias llevadas a cabo en Irlanda por la National Federation of Group Water Schemes.

Como es conocido, el entorno rural irlandés y gallego presenta numerosos vínculos y similares características. En el caso del abastecimiento, tradicionalmente la dotación de servicios del agua en comunidades rurales se ha resuelto del mismo modo: sistemas autónomos gestionados por los propios usuarios. Así, se puede afirmar que los problemas que afectan a los pequeños suministros en los dos contornos considerados desde mediados del siglo pasado han sido comunes:
a) Infraestructuras de abastecimiento deficientes y/o mal ejecutadas y ausencia de adecuado mantenimiento.
b) Sistemas ineficaces de saneamiento autónomo y malas prácticas agroganaderas.
c) Generalizada afección en la calidad de las aguas, ausencia de tratamiento y falta de control de calidad de las aguas.
d) Falta de gobernanza de los sistemas por parte de las administraciones.
e) Carencias de información y capacitación de los usuarios

Sin embargo, en el caso irlandés a partir del año 1998 se adoptaron una serie de medidas correctoras -(1) creación de nuevas estructuras de asociación y coordinación, (2) aporte de capital para la mejora de infraestructuras e instalaciones de tratamiento y (3) formación y capacitación- que supusieron un punto de inflexión debido a una mejora espectacular de los índices de cumplimiento de los indicadores de calidad del agua de consumo.

Objetivo del viaje de estudio: se trasladará a Irlanda al equipo técnico del proyecto Life Rural Supplies para que puedan conocer durante cuatro días las experiencias llevadas a cabo por la National Federation of Group Water Schemes y así mejorar su nivel de conocimiento sobre las posibles medidas que se tomarán en la acción B1 “Plan de sostenibilidad del suministro de agua en la zona de abastecimiento”.

 Programa de la visita: a continuación se detalla el viaje organizado por Brian Mac Domhnaill en colaboración con el Ayuntamiento de Abegondo.

  • Day 1 (October 22): Collection from airport … via Tullyallen GWS (a small supply near Drogheda County Louth and one of the oldest group water schemes) … to Tydavnet GWS in County Monaghan (this will hopefully include an address by Seán Clerkin, manager of Tydavnet GWs, former NFGWS National Co-ordinator and an architect of the Rural Water Programme … Tydavnet is a 1,000 household DBO scheme with both surface and groundwater sources) … staying in Sliabh Beagh Hotel (a small community-owned hotel in Tydavnet).
  • Day 2: (October 23): Collection from Sliabh Beagh Hotel and travel to Inishowen in the very north of County Donegal, visiting Bunn GWS (a 65-house supply with both spring and borehole sources, with a very strong record in Water Safety Planning) … then to South Donegal, visiting Townawully GWS an upland 100-house scheme abstracting water from a lake high in carbon and, as a consequence, has THM issues) … then to north Sligo (staying in B&Bs).
  • Day 3: (October 24): To County Mayo, visiting Killaturley GWS (a 350-house spring-sourced scheme with a strong focus on source protection … this is one of the EPA’s National Groundwater monitoring sites for the WFD … continuing to a number of DBO schemes in the Westport area that have had issues with Membrane technology but also have a joint manager and a fantastic record in working with schools, one of which we’ll visit … staying either in Westport or Kiltimagh.

11/7/2014 IV XORNADAS DA AUGA DE ESTÁS – TOMIÑO (PONTEVEDRA)

Visita a traída vecinal en Tomiño

Visita a traída vecinal en Tomiño

El viernes 11 de julio de 2014,  ante unos 100 vecinos usuarios de traídas vecinales, se cerraron, en la Casa de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Tomiño (Pontevedra),  las IV Xornadas da Auga de Estás, organizadas por COXAPO durante los días 5, 8, 10 y 11 de junio (ver programa).

Aprovechando la invitación al evento para dar a conocer la iniciativa del Life Rural Supplies, se llevó a cabo también una visita de estudio a algunas de las comunidades de usuarios asociadas a COXAPO.

18/06/2014 2ª JORNADA DE ABASTECIMIENTO RURAL

Apertura de la jornada por parte de José Antonio Santiso, alcalde de Abegondo y Coordinador del Proyecto

Apertura de la jornada por parte de José Antonio Santiso, Alcalde de Abegondo y Coordinador del Proyecto

En el marco del Curso de Verano de la Universidade da Coruña: “AGUA PARA CONSUMO HUMANO: GESTIÓN DE RECURSOS NATURALES EN MEDIO RURAL Y EN EMBALSES” se ha celebrado en la casa do Concello de Abegondo la 2ª jornada de abastecimiento rural (leer MÁS).

As part of the Summer School of the Universidade da Coruña: “DRINKING WATER: MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN RURAL AND RESERVOIRS” was held in the house do Concello of Abegondo the 2nd round of rural supply (read MORE).

FUERTE IMPULSO AL PROYECTO LIFE RURAL SUPPLIES: FIRMA DEL CONVENIO DE COLABORACIÓN.

14_06_03 FIRMA DEL CONVENIO DE COLABORACIÓN

El pasado martes 3 de junio de 2014, Rocío Mosquera (Conselleira de Sanidade), Agustín Hernández (Conselleiro de Medio Ambiente, Territorio e Infraestruturas) y José A. Santiso (Alcalde del Ayuntamiento de  Abegondo) firmaron entre aplausos de los vecinos, técnicos (de COXAPO, Consellería do Medio Rural e do Mar y LIGAL entre otros) y demás personalidades que llenaron el Aula Multimedia de Abegondo, el Convenio de Colaboración entre Socios de Life Rural Supplies.

El éxito de esta jornada, que fue cubierta por los principales medios de comunicación gallegos, da idea de la gran implicación de los vecinos y los socios beneficiarios en aprovechar esta oportunidad para avanzar en la resolución de los problemas a los que se enfrentan los pequeños abastecimientos. Durante el acto, se proyectó un vídeo en el que dos de los usuarios de una traída vecinal existente en el ámbito de actuación (Jorge Presedo y José Vázquez) explicaron pormenorizadamente las características de este tipo de suministros (el documental puede verse AQUÍ).

La firma de este documento asegura la financiación necesaria para llevar a cabo las acciones del proyecto y compromete al Ayuntamiento de Abegondo, Augas de Galicia y la Consellería de Sanidade a poner todos los medios necesarios para conseguir las metas definidas en la candidatura aprobada por la Comisión Europea.

 

 

REUNIÓN PARA AVANZAR EN LA RESOLUCIÓN DE LOS PROBLEMAS DE DOTACIÓN DE LOS SERVICIOS DE AGUA EN EL RURAL DISPERSO

Hoy jueves 22 de mayo de 2014 se ha celebrado la siguiente jornada:

1. TÍTULO: definición de protocolos administrativos para la resolución de los problemas de dotación de los servicios de agua en el rural disperso.
2. LUGAR: sede de la zona Hidrográfica Galicia-Norte de Augas de Galicia (A Coruña)
3. ASISTENTES:
  • Augas de Galicia: Roberto Arias, Carmen Quintero y Néstor Arias
  • Consellería de Sanidade: Elvira Íñiguez y Ángel Gómez Amorín
  • Ayuntamiento de Abegondo: Adrián Marquez, Carlos Ameijenda y Patricia Bergantiños
4. PRINCIPALES CUESTIONES A DEBATIR
  • Revisión del marco jurídico
  • Debate sobre los principales problemas identificados en el análisis y evaluación de los sistemas de abastecimiento (acción A3)
  • Definición de posibles líneas de actuación
Como conclusión, y aunque no estaba inicialmente previsto en el acuerdo de subvención del proyecto, se ha decidido redactar una Ordenanza municipal para la regulación de la dotación de los servicios del agua en el rural disperso por medio de sistemas descentralizados. La idea es que dicho reglamento marco sirva de modelo para otros municipios.

 

2ª JORNADA DE ABASTECIMIENTO RURAL

El próximo miércoles 18 de junio se celebrará en la casa do Concello de Abegondo la 2ª jornada de abastecimiento rural, que estará enmarcada en el Curso de Verano de la Universidade da Coruña: “AGUA PARA CONSUMO HUMANO: GESTIÓN DE RECURSOS NATURALES EN MEDIO RURAL Y EN EMBALSES” (ver díptico). El programa del evento del día 18 de junio puede descargarse AQUÍ (en español).

Por otro lado, esta jornada responde a una de las prioridades del Plan de Gestión de la Reserva de la Biosfera Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo (2013 – 2017), para el fomento de las buenas prácticas en el abastecimiento de agua en núcleos rurales. Así, están invitados a participar todos los agentes de dicha Reserva así como el resto de territorios adheridos a la Red Española de Reservas de la Biosfera.

On Wednesday June 18th will be held in Abegondo the “2nd EVENT WATER RURAL SUPPLIES”, which will be framed in the Summer Course of the University of A Coruña: “DRINKING WATER: MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN RURAL AND IN RESERVOIRS”. The agenda can be downloaded HERE (in english).