Abbeyleix Water Supply removed from the EPA Remedial Action List

03 February 2022

Works included installation of new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection units and an upgrade of the existing Chlorination system

Over 1,800 water customers in County Laois received good news this week following the removal of Abbeyleix Water Supply by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from their Remedial Action List (RAL). 

The Remedial Action List identifies drinking water supplies that are at risk of failing to consistently supply safe, clean drinking water. The Abbeyleix supply has been approved for removal by the EPA following extensive investment and upgrade works by Irish Water working in partnership with Laois County Council.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Laois County Council, completed upgrades at Abbeyleix Water Treatment Plant to modernise and improve water treatment processes. Works included installation of new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection units and an upgrade of the existing Chlorination system, improving drinking water quality and compliance with water treatment standards. These works provide a fully validated treatment barrier for Cryptosporidium, which was the main risk associated with the supply while it was on the RAL. Completion of these works has not only ensured the removal of Abbeyleix water supply from the EPA’s RAL, it has also safeguarded the water supply ensuring the delivery of safe, clean drinking water to homes and businesses in Abbeyleix and surrounding areas.

James O’Toole, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, says: “Irish Water is committed to ensuring that all our customers have safe, clean drinking water. This is a significant challenge due to decades of under-investment in our water infrastructure, but we are making steady progress, with an additional 1,800 people in Laois now removed from the Remedial Action List. 

“Nationally, the numbers of customers on the list continue to fall. Overall 16 supplies have been removed from the list in the past year, serving a total of 790,000 customers. We are working in partnership with Local Authorities to address issues with the supplies which remain on the list and to bring them to a standard where the EPA determines that they can be removed.”

The presence of a supply on the Remedial Action List does not mean the water is unsafe to drink. In fact, over 99.7% of supplies remain safe to drink and do not present any risk to health. Where drinking water quality deficiencies are found due to Irish Water’s improved testing and sampling regime, a Boil Water Notice or Do Not Consume notice may be issued to protect public health.

As a single national utility Irish Water has been able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water treatment plants and focus investment where the risk to our customers is highest. Nationally Irish Water is investing €5.2 billion in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure between 2020 and 2024. Significant improvements in water quality are being achieved year on year by this approach right across the country.