Contaminants in water supply highlighted by EPA

Instances of lead, arsenic, fluoride and other contaminants were found on separate occasions in public water supplies around County Kilkenny in 2011, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Instances of lead, arsenic, fluoride and other contaminants were found on separate occasions in public water supplies around County Kilkenny in 2011, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the EPA’s annual report for 2011, which was published last week, there were instances of lead found in the old Castlecomer water supply, arsenic in the Inistioge supply, nitrate in the Ballyragget supply, fluoride in the South Kilkenny Environs and trihalomethanes in the Kilkenny city supply at Radestown.

“The trihalomethanes non-compliances were primarily due to the chlorination of water with elevated levels of organic matter present,” the report outlines. “The fluoride non-compliance was due to elevated levels of fluoride above the Irish standard. However, all samples were below the EU fluoride standard of 1.5 gm/L. The nitrate non-compliance was attributed to agricultural activity in the vicinity of the source. The arsenic non-compliance was due to elevated levels of arsenic in the source waster. However, the borehole from which the sample was taken is no longer in use. The lead non-compliance was due to the presence of lead communication pipes in the supply.”

The report also cites a detection of E. coli in Kilmoganny, so that countywide microbiological compliance was 99.7%, a marginal drop from the 100% compliance in the previous year.

There was also one boil water notice issued that year, in the Gowran Goresbridge Paulstown water supply for inadequate disinfection, from March 28 to April 1, 2011, affecting 3,312 people.

The number of Kilkenny’s public water supplies on the EPA’s remedial action list is continuing to decrease, according to the report. The county had five water supplies on the list as of the end of 2011. The old Castlecomer supply, the Clogh-Castlecomer supply and the Mooncoin regional supply were all removed from the list in that year due to the completion of necessary remedial works to the satisfaction of the EPA.