Staleen plant one of the 'at risk' supplies
Homes and businesses in Louth and Meath, served by the Staleen water treatment plant and the Drumconrath public water supply, are being advised that their supply is 'at risk'.
Irish Water have said that the water, which supplies 72,000 customers, is still safe to drink.
In the past, Irish Water only contacted homes and businesses if there was a problem with their drinking water supply that was likely to cause an immediate risk to health.
However, the recent Water Services Policy Statement 2018 -2025, called for better engagement with, and greater transparency for people using public water supplies.
In South Louth and East Meath homes and businesses will receive a letter to tell them that their water supply is affected by elevated levels of THMs (Trihalomethanes) and poor Turbidity removal.
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. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water.
Irish Water, is investing €14 million to upgrade the Staleen Water Treatment Plant which treats water from the river Boyne. These upgrade works are already underway and are scheduled to be completed in mid-2019. This project will provide a significant upgrade of treatment facilities at the Staleen WTP to address and remedy any deficiencies in the treatment plant. The works include the implementation of an enhanced coagulation treatment process to limit THM formation and improved filtration to improve turbidity removal.
In the Drumcondrath public water supply scheme, homes and businesses will receive a letter to tell them that their water supply is also affected by THMs. Irish Water are progressing with plans to change the water supply for these homes and businesses so in future they will be supplied from the Ardee Public Water Scheme. These works are scheduled to be complete by early 2021.
Speaking about the public information campaign, Mark Macaulay, Asset Planning Manager at Irish Water said, "Irish Water has worked closely with the EPA to identify the public water schemes that need a plan or action to improve their water treatment. We are prioritising our investment in these treatment plants. Providing safe, clean drinking water for all in South Louth and Meath is our first goal.
"We wish to assure everyone we are writing to in Louth and Meath that their drinking water is safe to drink. We monitor and test our supplies on a continuous basis and if this monitoring indicates a potential water quality issue we consult with the HSE. If the results from our monitoring programmes indicate any potential risk to public health from the drinking water supply we inform the public immediately. If anyone has any questions or concerns they should contact Irish Water."
If members of the public have any questions they can call Callsave 1850 278 278 or +353 1 707 2828 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).