SWIMMERS in South Co Dublin will have to wait longer than expected for cleaner seawater.
The €86m upgrade to the Shanganagh wastewater treatment plant is seven months behind schedule, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council has revealed.
It had been due for completion by June this year -- in time for the summer swim season -- but is unlikely to be finished before December.
Labour's Denis O'Callaghan told the Herald he now wants to know why there is a delay.
"They have not said why. They may have run into difficulties on site. My understanding was that it was on schedule or slightly ahead of schedule," Cllr O'Callaghan said.
Phase 1 of the project began in October 2008 and was supposed to finish in 32 months.
However, a Dun Laoghaire council report stated: "The contractor, SDD Water Treatment Ltd, has notified the consultants for the scheme, McCarthy Hyder, that he has been subject to delay as a consequence of factors outside of his control."
The contractor said there would be a hold-up of "approximately seven months".
And the council added: "The contractor has indicated that it may be possible to reduce this delay to October 2011."
Mr O'Callaghan said the scheme will "absolutely" lead to an improvement in the quality of sea water around Killiney and other swimming areas.
Killiney beach lost its coveted Blue Flag status after tests showed contamination from the existing Shanganagh plant.