Niall Collins TD: response not acceptable
TWENTY households in an estate in County Limerick continue to rely on bottled water for drinking, eight months after a smell of petrol in their water supply sparked concern.
Last August, Irish Water told the Ardagh residents there they would be taking samples of the water as “recent results have shown slightly elevated levels of hydrocarbons.”
“There is no requirement to alter your use of the water,” Irish Water said as the elevated levels were within drinking water guidelines.
However, in late September Irish Water again wrote to residents telling them that the HSE advice was “not to drink the water or use it for prepared food, ice making or brushing of teeth.”
“However, unless any petrol type odour is noted, this water can be used for toilet flushing bathing, showering, laundry and dishwashing,” the residents were told. This advice is on a precautionary basis, Irish Water has stressed repeatedly. “While the level of hydrocarbons detected is above expected background levels, it does not breach the Drinking Water Regulations,” a spokesman for the company told the Limerick Leader.
In the meantime, Irish Water, in partnership with Limerick City and County Council have undertaken investigations into the possible source of the pollution but, Deputy Niall Collins was told last week, no definitive source can be established. “Note that this is a localised issue with no detections in other areas within the Newcastle West water supply scheme,” Deputy Collins was told.
Irish Water now propose to carry out “ice pigging of the supply pipework, within the estate, to deep clean the pipework and to follow up with additional sampling.”
“This is currently being arranged by Irish Water,” Deputy Collins has been told. He said the response was unacceptable given the time that had elapsed. He intends to follow up and track the matter, he said. In the meanwhile, bottled water has been supplied to residents of O Connor Park on request. Water Tankers (on loan from Clare County Council) were provided in early December but their use was discontinued due to low uptake. We provided additional supplies of bottled water to residents of O’Connor Park.”
In December, a spokesman for Irish Water told the Limerick Leader that some hydrocarbons, at low levels, had previously been detected in the network in Ardagh village. “It is thought that this may have been coming from O’Connor Park, so a non-return valve has been fitted on the pipe into the park and regular monitoring is carried out on the Ardagh supply,” he said. Irish Water, he added, has been liaising with the HSE and the EPA on the matter.