Lead in water exceeds EU norm

by Gazette Reporter

A LOCAL politician is calling for provision to be made in the home improvement grant for the replacement of lead pipes because of concerns over lead levels that exceed the EU average in the water supply to houses in Raheny.
Cllr Ciaran O’Moore (SF) claims the problem is because old lead pipes were disturbed during the installation of Irish Water meters.
Householders in St Anne’s estate in Raheny were sent letters from Dublin City Council with an attached HSE information leaflet, warning them not to drink the water following the discovery of high levels of lead.
He told The Gazette: “In March, Dublin City Council were doing a random test on water and at a house in Watermill Drive in St Anne’s estate, they discovered there was eight times the [allowed] EU level of lead.
“The householder had to get the mains renewed from outside into his house.
“Now there’s another 12 cases. One guy’s lead levels are 10 times above the EU level.
Cllr O’Moore is suggesting that during installation, movement of the lead piping resulted in the removal of the coating inside and this in turn has given rise to the problems with lead levels throughout St Anne’s.
“There were no lead readings before the meters were installed.
“I’m calling for the home improvement grant to be inclusive of the replacement of lead pipes [in a motion at the next council meeting on December 8]…which could cost up to €3,000.”
Robert Dempsey, a resident on Merryville Road, told The Gazette: “I got in touch with Irish Water to ask them to take a sample of my water and confirm whether there was lead in it or not…
“I got a letter dated October 20 stating that the European standard was lowered in December 2013 to 10mg per litre from 25mg.
“My lead concentration was 63mg per litre, dropping to a value of 38mg after letting the tap run for five minutes.
“I’ve been buying five-litre containers of water since.”
He added: “The pipe coming from the main road is cast iron and pipes leading off it [to houses] are lead.
“The council has now fitted a plastic pipe from the cast iron pipe up to my meter but replacing the lead pipe from the meter to the house is my responsibility.
“I don’t care what they charge me for the water, I can’t drink it; and am I going to be left to foot the bill?
“It’s crazy, on the one hand they’re telling us to conserve water and on the other the HSE is telling me to let the tap run for five minutes so it’ll be safe to drink.
“It’s a complete and utter disaster.”
Dempsey said on Friday: “The effect this has had on me is that if the Government told me that tomorrow was Saturday, I wouldn’t believe them.”
A spokesperson for Irish Water said: “There is no evidence that the installation of domestic water meters is causing an increase in the levels of lead in water.
“Lead piping has existed in housing built pre-1970. There is no lead in the water mains.
“However, lead can exist in properties and in the communication pipe between the mains and the property and in backyard services.”

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