Refurbishing Leixlip water plant 'like trying to change the tyres on a car while it is still heading down the road'

Refurbishing Leixlip water plant 'like trying to change the tyres on a car while it is still heading down the road'
Part of Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, in Co Kildare. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Irish Water’s managing director Niall Gleeson has described the company’s efforts to refurbish the old Leixlip water plant as being like “trying to change the tyres on a car while it is still heading down the road.”

Leaks have to be repaired in a phased way, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, but in the case of the Leixlip plan, repairs have to be carried out while the plant is still operating.

Meanwhile Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy told Newstalk Breakfast that this second boil notice has shattered any confidence people had in Irish Water.

“They're afraid they're going to get sick, they are also not sure they can be confident they are being told in a timely way.

“This is not just about inconvenience, about rushing out to buy water, or boiling water. This is about confidence.”

Also speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Irish Water’s general manager Eamon Gallen apologised for the impact and inconvenience of the boil notice issued on Monday for people in Fingal, most of north Dublin, south Dublin, Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath.

We are very disappointed that a boil notice had to be issued again, but as we said the last time our number one priority has to be public health and the safety and well being of our customers.

He admitted that he did not know how long this boil notice will last. “We are working with Fingal and we will work in consultation with the HSE and the EPA to get the boil notice lifted as quickly and as safely as possible. We have to agree criteria with them to lift the notice which we expect will be along the same time lines as last time.

“We are also working with the other local authorities to get as much water as possible from other sources.

“We produce 1.7 billion litres of water every day and that water is all fit to consume or we'll tell you it's not. So we will come out quickly and tell you. I know it's cold comfort to people who have to boil water today.”

Mr Gallen explained that Irish Water is trying to accelerate the refurbishment of old Leixlip plant.

“When you take the filters out of operation that impacts on supply, we also have a chlorine upgrade programme under way and as per the EPA report, we are considering UVA treatment, but we have to see if the filters need to be refurbished before any of that could be effective.

“There's no doubt that the water network needs a lot of investment, but we have the strategic funding plan approved by government and we believe that is sufficient for us to do the water that's tasked for us. It is a long term programme of works. It will take decades to get the water network back up to standard.”

More on this topic

Residents say they cannot open windows due to 'foul smells' from wastewater plantResidents say they cannot open windows due to 'foul smells' from wastewater plant

Irish Water warn of increased risk of stormwater overflows at Ringsend plantIrish Water warn of increased risk of stormwater overflows at Ringsend plant

Boil water notice in Cork 'going to take a number of weeks' to resolve Boil water notice in Cork 'going to take a number of weeks' to resolve

Boil water notice issued for 9,500 people in east CorkBoil water notice issued for 9,500 people in east Cork


More in this Section

Two men held after digger used in double ATM theftTwo men held after digger used in double ATM theft

8 National Parks and Nature Reserves to close for Storm Atiyah8 National Parks and Nature Reserves to close for Storm Atiyah

Man due in court over drug, gold and alcohol seizureMan due in court over drug, gold and alcohol seizure

Restricting TDs and Senators from double-jobbing 'needs consideration', says TaoiseachRestricting TDs and Senators from double-jobbing 'needs consideration', says Taoiseach


Lifestyle

This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner