Water utility is called to account

by Ian Begley
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AN emergency motion has been tabled at South Dublin County Council following “a lack of clarity” on the part of Irish Water regarding changes to Lucan’s water supply.
The motion was tabled by Cllr William Lavelle (FG) on May 6 at the annual/inaugural county council meeting.
He said: “Following a lack of clarity or information from Irish Water regarding changes to the water supply to Lucan, I today tabled an emergency motion at our SDCC meeting seeking an urgent report.
“In response, council management were in a position to advise that the change in water supply from Ballymore Eustace to Leixlip (resulting in harder water) is in fact only temporary,” he said.
Cllr Eamon Tuffy (Lab) is also concerned about Irish Water’s lack of clarity about this supply switch, asking the utility to explain why the council was not informed.
He also said several local residents contacted him about water supply issues.
In an email to Irish Water, he said: “As a councillor and election candidate I am calling on many households in the Lucan area in the last two weeks.
“Several householders, in Beech Park, Sarsfield Park and other areas have reported problems with their domestic water supply.
“These include water turning brownish after boiling, sandy residue [and] scaling of kettles.
“Could you advise me as soon as possible if their supply has been switched from Ballymore Eustace to Leixlip?” said Cllr Tuffy.
The Gazette made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Irish Water, but previously it said it had identified “a need” to expand the area within South Dublin County Council serviced by the Leixlip Water Treatment Works.
It added that an expansion in production capacity at the Leixlip plant, meant pressure could be taken off the treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace.
From April 14 the change took place, affecting the Ninth Lock, Ashwood in Neilstown, Rowlagh, St Loman’s, Ballyowen, Ballydowd, Esker, Earlsfort, and Foxborough.
Resident Eoin O’Neill told The Gazette that he has had issues with his water for the past several weeks, and now feels it is unsafe to drink.
He said: “I wouldn’t risk in the state it’s in now, and I have been buying bottled water for the past three weeks.
“It’s okay when you put it in the kettle first, but as soon as you boil it there’s a type of sediment at the bottom of the kettle and a scum appears around the sides.
“I’m not the only one that has issues with water from my area. Anyone who I’ve been talking to around here says they have the same problem.”
O’Neill is still unsure about the cause of his water problem and is appealing to Irish Water to clarify its cause.
“ [Irish Water] knows what the problem is and whether it’s dirt getting into the pipes when they were installing the meters or due to the change in the water supply – I don’t know, but it has never happened before,” he said.
Council water is mainly sourced from two water treatment plants at Ballymore-Eustace and Leixlip. The water from Leixlip would be considered hard and from Ballymore-Eustace it is soft.

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