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Macroom air quality above WHO levels - and ‘boil water notice’ to stay in place for fifth week in row


The air pollution levels in Macroom were above WHO levels for 26 days during 2020

The air pollution levels in Macroom were above WHO levels for 26 days during 2020

The air pollution levels in Macroom were above WHO levels for 26 days during 2020


THE air quality in the town of Macroom exceeded World Health Organisation levels for the concentration of particulate matter for 26 days during 2020, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report published this week.

A spokesperson for the EPA confirmed to The Corkman that the daily level for particulate matter, which is predominantly attributable to the fumes emitted by domestic fireplaces, exceeded the WHO level of 25 microgrammes per metre cubed on 26 days.

“While it wasn’t the highest in the country, there were a number of air monitoring stations lower than it also,” said the spokesperson.

“Macroom is a town which we are monitoring and we find it’s representative of towns of a similar size around the country.

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“There isn’t anything particularly exceptional about Macroom in this regard.”

The spokesperson said Cobh’s air quality exceeded the WHO recommended limits.

Cork County Council was commended for considerably upping its game in recent years and the spokesperson referred to a newly installed air monitoring station in Mallow and plans to install similar equipment in Clonakilty and Ringaskiddy as an indicator of this.

In terms of the Mallow Air Monitoring Station, it was stated that it was too early to give a report as yet due to the fact that the station was only in place last year for the first time.

Meanwhile, Macroom’s Boil Water Notice, which was first notified on October 20, remains in place this week, according to an update issued on Tuesday by Irish Water.

The Boil Water Notice serving Macroom town, Codrum, Masseytown, Kilnagurteen, Coolehane, Coolcower, Macloneigh, Carrigadrohid, Balliagree and surrounding areas remains in place as a precautionary measure due to elevated turbidity in the supply.

“Works to rectify the saturation system at Macroom Water Treatment Plant have been completed as planned. However, turbidity issues have persisted following the recommissioning of the plant and a detailed assessment of the filters is now underway to determine what further works are required to fully resolve these issues,” a spokesman said.