Residents in a Mid-Cork village plagued by poor water quality in recent years will have to wait up to six months to find out if measures to correct the problems have been successful, especially in terms of the high lead content.
There have been persistent problems with the water supply system in the Crookstown area, including dangerously high levels of lead which were first identified in 2010.
The issue was highlighted at a county council meeting by Cllr Des O’Grady (SF) who said problems existed with the mains, service pipes to houses, and the source of the water, which have resulted in boil water notices being in place for quite some time.
County engineer David Keane said the council recognised that measures had to be taken to bring the water quality “up to acceptable standards”.
He said that last week a new system became operational whereby water was being pumped in from Cloughduv.
“In addition to the new supply, full replacement of the pipework serving Bishop Galvin Terrace was also completed. Cork County Council is now communicating with the HSE with a view to lifting the boil water notice that has existed for all these houses since July 13 last.”
He said the high levels of lead in the water serving the area arose because of the previous source and that the water now being piped in from Cloughduv should have a “beneficial impact on lead concentrations”.
Mr Keane said the full impact of the works undertaken in the village would take time and lead tests would be undertaken again in the next three to six months to see if they have dropped sufficiently.
He said that in 2010, 2013, and 2014 lead tests were carried out on the supply and residents were informed of the excessive levels in the first and latter years and advised to let their water run before drinking it so that the metal did not build up “in stagnant water”.
Mr Keane said the HSE had advised that a boil water notice also remain in place in the village until further tests are completed.
Cllr O’Grady said he welcomed the report, but urged that Irish Water, which is now in charge of the scheme, ensure everything is done to provide the people of Crookstown with a proper standard of water, including the replacement of a number of pipes in the area which were consistently leaking.
Cllr Michael Creed (FG) agreed as did party colleague, Cllr Ted Lucey, who said that a lot more work had to be done on the system, but they “at least are moving in the right direction.”
Mr Keane said he would provide Irish Water with a briefing document on what needed to be done and would try and keep the pressure on them to ensure it was.
Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) said he would like to see the lead tests brought forward because he didn’t want to see the people of Crookstown living in fear of drinking the water longer than necessary.
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