Irish Water warned about failing filters in Leixlip plant in 2014

by Padraig Conlon

Irish Water has been accused of being misleading after they were warned about potential issues with the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant in 2014.

Up to 600,000 people, many of them residents of Lucan, Clondalkin and Palmerstown, were left furious in October and November when Irish Water was forced to issue Boil Water Notices after an issue at the treatment plant in Leixlip.

It was recently revealed that Irish Water was aware of problems with filters at the plant six years ago.

Now Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny has criticised the water utility for failing to communicate information about issues at the Leixlip plant.

“When elected representatives have contacted Irish Water regarding water quality they have been consistently dismissed and told that the water is up to standard,” Kenny told Dublin Gazette.

“When I was marching alongside local people against water charges in 2014 we were also opposing the set-up of Irish Water.

“We argued at the time that another unelected body would only serve to take the water supply infrastructure system out of the control of elected representatives.

“It’s now absolutely clear that Irish Water is not accountable to anyone and should be abolished, with water services returned to local authorities.

Under-investment

“The problems at the Leixlip plant, which is still serving parts of the Lucan area, are the result of years of under-investment in water infrastructure.

“Millions of Euros were squandered on water meter installation which should have been spent on upgrading failing infrastructure.”

Dublin Gazette contacted Irish Water and asked why it took them five years to replace the failing filters in the Leixlip plant.

A spokesperson for Irish Water told us: “In response to the assessment carried out by Irish Water in July 2014 substantial upgrade and improvement works have taken place on the old Leixlip Water Treatment Plant in recent years,” they said.

“The principal works include the refurbishment of the filters (ongoing), the addition of a back-up OSEC disinfection system and the integration of the new Water Treatment Plant and Ballygoran Reservoir into the telemetry system.

“Further works, including the provision of UV disinfection, pH Correction, Clarifier and flocculator upgrades will be completed in 2020 and 2021.

“The Water Treatment Plant at Leixlip is operating normally and in compliance with all drinking water quality requirements.

“Irish Water is currently replacing the filters at the old plant at Leixlip on a phased basis.

“Works on upgrading of the filters commenced in July 2018 and are scheduled to be complete in Q2 2020.

“This process is being carried out as quickly and safely as possible while maintaining supply to the greater Dublin area.”

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