In 2007, the Committees of four neighbouring Group Water Schemes, Straide, Ballyvary, Keelogues and Prizon/Lisnolan discussed the possibility of amalgamating together in order to solve network and water quality issues. By March 2008, the members of the four original Group Scheme’s unanimously agreed to amalgamate together to form a new Group Water Scheme called the ‘P.B.K.S. Group Water Scheme Co-operative Society Ltd’.
The newly elected PBKS Committee embarked on the mammoth task of replacing over 70km of old water mains which covered a large catchment area and which supplied water to over 800 houses. The Department of Environment, Housing and Local Government funded 85% of the project cost, with the remaining 15% cost sourced from the Group Scheme members. The Upgrade contribution cost for each Scheme member was €1,200 per house.
In March 2010, The PBKS Committee officially opened a new state of the art Water Treatment plant at Bohogue. This Plant was designed to supply treatment water to two new 750 cubic meter reservoirs at Redhill and Bohogue. The opening of the new Treatment Plant was a red letter day for the locality and was a fitting reward for the hard work and vision of everyone involved in the Group Scheme particularly the PBKS Committee.
All Group Scheme members were now gauranteed a supply of fresh, treated water water delivered in a new, fully pressurised network. The mission statement that PBKS had strived to achieve had finally come to fruition “To provide all our members with a reliable and environmentally sustainable piped water supply of an adequate volume to meet member’s domestic and commercial requirements of a quality that conforms to all statutory regulatory standards”.
In 2017 PBKS converted the old reservoir at Keelogues into a workshop and storage facility and the scheme is now in a position to carry out maintenance repairs on a 24-hour basis. The PBKS Group Scheme is also one of the few schemes in the country to possesses the infrastructure, equipment, and expertise to ‘air scour’ our distribution network. Air scouring works using filtered ‘oil-free’ compressed air, injected into the water network via a fire hydrant at high velocity with a small volume of water. The mixture of air and water penetrates and dislodges material which is unreachable by ordinary water flushing. This technique is increasingly used internationally by water utilities for cleaning water mains.
PBKS have a fully automated system of monitoring the water quality 24/7 using the latest technology. The volunteer board of PBKS will work hard to ensure that the scheme remains an independent entity owned by the members that it serves. The scheme will continue to be a state of the art water service provider and will provide future developments in the Straide and surrounding areas with access to a high-quality water supply on a consistent basis and to the volumes required.