Aluminium level detected in Limerick water supply was ‘seven times’ above limit

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

The HSE advised Irish Water to issue a ‘Do Not Drink’ notice to 40 homes on the Rosbrien Road last Friday night

The HSE advised Irish Water to issue a ‘Do Not Drink’ notice to 40 homes on the Rosbrien Road last Friday night

THE LEVEL of aluminium detected in the water supply of a Limerick city area was more than seven times’ the acceptable limit, The Limerick Leader can reveal.

On Friday night, ‘Do Not Drink’ water restrictions were imposed on 40 households in the Rosbrien Road area, close to Old Crescent RFC, after excessive levels of aluminium were detected in the water supply by Irish Water.

After follow-up tests by Irish Water and HSE consultation, the restriction was lifted on Monday evening.

Irish Water confirmed to The Leader that the level of aluminium had peaked at 1,435 microgrammes per litre at one location.

The spokesperson said that the “acceptable limit” for aluminium under drinking water parameters is 200 microgrammes per litre.

This means that, at one location, the level of aluminium was more than seven times’ the acceptable limit by Irish Water standards. 

“Regular sampling and testing of drinking water supplies is carried out to ensure they are fully compliant with these limits.Any exceedances are notified to the HSE and fully investigated to determine the cause and to ensure that appropriate corrective actions are carried out.

“Samples taken at some locations in the Rosbrien area late last week showed a number of exceedances of this limit, up to a maximum of 1435ug/l at one location.  All other levels recorded on this date were below the parametric limit of 200ug/l,” the spokesperson said.

Asked how the issue was fixed over the three days, Irish Water replied: “Scouring of the water network was carried out over the weekend to remove any build up of aluminium in the pipes. Following this, further tests were carried out, which showed that all drinking water samples were within the normal parametric limits.

"Following the confirmation of these test results the Do Not Drink Notice was lifted in consultation with the HSE. We are continuing to monitor the supply to ensure the problem has been resolved.”

The HSE told The Leader this Tuesday that it did not receive any reports of illness arising out of consumption of water in the Rosbrien Road area.

Though there is no confirmation yet of the levels of aluminium detected in the water, the HSE said that “no acute health effects would be expected as a result of the short-term exposure to the aluminium levels detected on Rosbrien Road”.

“All affected customers can now resume normal use of their water supply,” the spokesperson for Irish Water said on Monday, adding that bottled water was distributed to everyone affected by the restriction.

People can call Irish Water Customer Care Helpline on 1850-278278.