IF it works out, then it could be the simplest solution of all. Just find a hole in the ground in the right place and let the floodwaters soak away into the earth.
Labane businessman, Pat Quinn and farmer/contractor, PJ Mahoney, are behind an exploratory project aimed at finding out if dry underground chambers in local flood areas could be tapped into to take away the water.
The project – grant aided by the OPW (Office of Public Works) – involved the drilling of three trial holes last week in an acute flood pinch point at Labane, opposite the local filling station.
Well drilling specialists, Mulcairs of Loughrea and Borrisokane, drilled three holes approximately 40 feet in depth at the site and while two of them didn’t locate any ‘vacancy’, a third one indicated the possibility of an empty chamber.
The next step is pour approximately 6,000 gallons of water into this third borehole with the aim of trying to ascertain if it has the capacity to absorb larger amounts of water.
If that works, then at a later stage, tracers could be put in the water to find out where it eventually ends up. The project has also involved the use of water diviners over more recent times and during the critical flood period of late 2015 and early 2016.
Pat Quinn explained to the Farming Tribune that the work was essentially exploratory but was based on the possibility of ‘dry chambers’ being tapped into in some of the key flood areas.
They are also anxious to find out why an under-road pipe put in place during the last bad floods had an outflow into a field that soaked away all the water.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.