An additional 6,000 water customers in Longford received good news this week following the removal of the Gowna and Granard water supplies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from their Remedial Action List (RAL).

The RAL identifies drinking water supplies that are at risk of failing to consistently supply safe, clean drinking water. Both supplies have been approved for removal by the EPA following extensive investment and upgrade works by Irish Water working in partnership with Longford County Council.

The Granard water supply served by the Lough Kinale water treatment plant and the Gowna water supply served by the Smear water treatment plant have been removed from the RAL following an upgrade to both treatment plants. The works at the plants included the upgrade of chemical treatment processes, refurbishment of filters and improvements in telemetry and monitoring instrumentation. These upgrades have modernised and improved the water treatment processes at the plants removing the risk of Trihaomethane (THM) formation.

The Longford Central Water Supply Scheme is the last remaining supply on the RAL in Longford. Works are continuing at the Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant which supplies 19,000 customers with a view to removing this scheme from the RAL as soon as possible.

Speaking about the project, Stephen Seymour, Water Portfolio Delivery Manager, Irish Water, said, “These essential upgrades will improve drinking water quality and safeguard water supply for people in Gowna, Granard and surrounding areas. Works have also improved the plant’s performance and efficiency to meet the current needs of the area and allow for social and economic growth in Longford.

Andrew Boylan, Drinking Water Specialist, Irish Water says: “Irish Water is committed to ensuring that all our customers have safe, clean drinking water. This is a significant challenge but we are making steady progress, with an additional 6,000 people in Longford now removed from the RAL. We are working in partnership with Longford County Council to address issues with the Longford Central water supply which is the last remaining Longford supply on the list and to bring it to a standard where the EPA determines that they can be removed.

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 plans to invest €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.

The RAL is updated quarterly by the EPA for those water supplies where investment in treatment processes is required. Irish Water has a prioritised programme of investment for all schemes on the RAL.

Irish Water have been working closely with our local authority partners and contractors during COVID-19 to ensure the delivery of water and wastewater services as a priority. We would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.


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