Lead levels more than 10 times the permitted limits have been found in a number of houses at St Brendan’s Park, Tralee, Co Kerry. One had 155 micrograms per litre while the acceptable level was 10 micrograms. The residents have requested Irish Water for an exemption on charges until the situation is remedied.
However, last night, Irish Water confirmed replacement works in St Brendan’s Park will commence today and the lead services will be replaced within four months. The full scope of the contract will conclude before May 2015.
“There is no drinking water restriction in the area, however, advice has previously been issued to customers advised to flush water through the pipes in order to reduce the lead in the water.
“It is important to note that as customers in this area will not pay a metered charge, but rather will have their usage capped at the assessed charge for a household of their size, there is no cost disadvantage to customers who carry out this flushing,” a spokesperson said.
“Irish Water is committed to ensuring our customers enjoy the highest quality water and we look forward to working with the community in St Brendan’s park to ensure that the replacement work is completed as quickly as possible and with minimum disruption.”
The issue was raised at yesterday’s meeting of Tralee Municipal Authority at which senior water services engineer, Colm Mangan referred to a joint EPA/HSE position paper on lead in water.
“The advice given is that people should not drink the water if lead levels are over the recommended limits,” he told councillors.
The EPA/HSE, he said, urged people to use alternative sources of drinking water.
Cllr Toiréasa Ferris (SF) said houses tested in St Brendan’s had levels well above permitted levels.
Irish Water last night said work on pipes to be replaced in the Tralee estate commences today.
Work, however, could take up to a year to complete, Mr Mangan told the meeting.
Cllr Norma Foley (FF) said a number of homes in Marian Park, Tralee dating to the 1950s, were also affected. Meanwhile, many residents of St Brendan’s Park are continuing to purchase bottled water for drinking purposes.