Irish Water has welcomed the publication of the EPA Drinking Water Report 2013
What does the report say?
At the moment 23,297 people in Ireland have to boil their water before drinking. The EPA has highlighted 121 vulnerable drinking water supplies \nationwide. Irish Water has described this as "unacceptable in a modern, developed country", but the agency said progress is being made.
What is being done by Irish Water?
Irish Water is 'prioritising the elimination of boil water notices' and has accelerated investing in upgrading treatment works. In 2014 and 2015 Irish Water will spend almost €20m on 6 new plants in Co Roscommon alone which will remove more than 17,000 people off Boil Water Notices by April of this year.
A further major scheme for North East Roscommon is at tender and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, providing a modern high quality supply for 6,000 people currently on Boil Water Notice.
Lead in water
The EPA report also highlights the issue of lead in water which affects approximately 150,000 homes in Ireland and a large number of public buildings built more than 40 years ago, where lead was the normal plumbing material.
Irish Water describes this as largely 'a property owner issue' as the bulk of the lead is located beyond the metre on private property. Irish Water is also recommending the use of ortho-phosphate dosing which has proved effective internationally in addressing the health risks posed by lead in drinking water. By depositing a coating on the pipe, it reduces the levels of lead being dissolved into the water. Irish Water will need for agreement of the EPA, HSE and Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) first on that issue.