Water ‘at risk’ for over 31,000 homes

by Rebecca Ryan

Around 31,500 Dun Laoghaire Rathdown homes and businesses will be getting a letter from Irish Water to say that their water supply is “at risk”.

140,000 homes and businesses across Ireland are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List (RAL) which lists “at risk” water supplies where drinking water quality isn’t as good as it could be.

In the past, Irish Water only made contact if there was a problem with their drinking water supply that was likely to cause an immediate risk to health.

Irish Water will continue to do that. However, the recent Water Services Policy Statement called for better engagement with, and greater transparency for people using public water supplies.

Over the coming weeks, each affected home and business will receive a letter outlining why the supply in question is at risk and what Irish Water is doing to mitigate the risk.

The Roundwood public water supply, which supplies water to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown to approximately 31,500 customers, is on the RAL.

The Roundwood public water supply is affected by trihalomethanes (THMs).

THMs are chemical compounds which can form over time when natural organic matter, such as twigs and leaves, react with the chlorine necessary to adequately disinfect water supplies in order to make the water safe to drink.

To address this, Irish Water is making a significant investment in the Vartry Water Supply Scheme.

This will ensure a safe and sustainable water supply for the north Wicklow and south Dublin areas, including these water supplies.

This project involves building a new water treatment plant on the site of the existing plant and replacing the Callow Hill Tunnel. The project aims to be completed by early 2021.

Speaking about the public information campaign, Mark Macaulay, asset planning manager at Irish Water said: “We wish to assure everyone we are writing to in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown that their drinking water is safe to drink. We monitor and test our supplies on a continuous basis. If anyone has any concerns they can contact Irish Water (1850 278 278).”

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