34,000 Kilkenny customers of Irish Water have water quality 'issues'

Inistioge, Glenmore, Bennetsbridge, Kilkenny city schemes have 'issues' but water safe to drink

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Irish Water appeal for water conservation as dry spell  increases pressure on water supplies

Five schemes in Kilkenny have issues

34,380 customers across county Kilkenny will be contacted by Irish Water over the coming weeks to update them about works happening in their locality to improve their water quality.

Irish Water is to write to homes and businesses on the public water network in County Kilkenny where there may have previously been or where there is an existing issue with the drinking water quality.

Issues include cryptosporidium and THMs. 

What are THMs? Click here for an explainer of the cause and effects.

There are 5 schemes in Kilkenny where issues have been identified. Water is safe to drink in these schemes but Irish Water will outline specifically what we are doing to improve the supply there.

Homes and businesses in 16 counties across the country on 55 different water supply schemes will receive a detailed booklet outlining the issues with their water supply which might vary from elevated THMs; inadequate barriers for cryptosporidium; poor turbidity removal; presence of low levels of pesticides; or details of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) audit of a plant.

The individual booklet will explain in detail to householders where their drinking water comes from; why Irish Water are writing to them; how Irish Water know that their water is safe to drink; information about regulation and testing; what Irish Water is doing to fix their specific water supply; and where they can get more information.

In Bennettsbridge and Glenmore, there is a risk of cryptosporidium however Irish Water put remedial works in place to mitigate these issues and is now working on a long term solution in both areas.

To address the issue in Bennettsbridge, the water treatment plant serving the area is being upgraded. We expect these works to be completed by early 2019.

In Glenmore, Irish Water is investigating ground water sources for an alternative water supply which will replace the current source.

In Inistioge, Irish Water will be changing the supply source for the area due to the risk of THMs. In future, water supply will come from the Thomastown Public Water Scheme. The works to facilitate this change are expected to be completed by early 2019.

In Kilkenny City, areas at risk of THMs will also have a change in water source. In future, water supplies will come from the Troyswood Water Treatment Plant. Works to facilitate this change are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

In parts of Kilkenny City served by the Troyswood Water Treatment Plant, pesticides were detected in the water in 2017. To address this, Irish Water is working with a range of other agencies and stakeholders, including landowners, to put in place measures to increase awareness and prevent further pesticide exceedances.

Speaking about the public information campaign, James O’Toole, Regional Operations Lead with Irish Water said,

“Everyone we are writing to in County Kilkenny has access to drinking water that 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 EPA. If there is any potential risk to public health from the drinking water supply we inform the HSE immediately. In that instance, we would encourage the public to follow the advice given by the HSE and implement their recommendations. If anyone has any questions or concerns they should contact Irish Water.”

“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 County Kilkenny is our first goal.”

If members of the public have any questions that are not covered in booklet please phone us on Callsave 1850 278 278 or +353 1 707 2828  (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). We also have a dedicated web page at www.water.ie/waterquality

The recent Water Services Policy Statement 2018 – 2025 called for better engagement with, and greater transparency for people using public water supplies. This direct communication is an important part of helping the public to understand what Irish Water do as a utility.