Irish Water today welcomed confirmation by the HSE that the water supply in Ballynanty, Co. Limerick is now safe to drink. The HSE finding follows rehabilitation work fast-tracked by Irish Water which has brought the level of lead in Ballynanty’s water supply within EU standards.

Irish Water took responsibility for water services in Ireland in January 2014 and as part of this role carries out routine check & audit sampling for levels of a variety of substances, including lead, on a regular basis.

Residents in Ballynanty were first made aware of lead levels above the EU standard in their water supply in August 2014. Irish Water, in partnership with Limerick City & County Council, immediately undertook a programme of work to address the problem, which affected approximately 311 households in Ballynanty.

This work included:

  • The installation of 2871m of new water mains, which were then tested and commissioned into service.
  • The provision of new individual supplies for 311 affected properties previously served by old shared lead pipes.
  • The provision of new individual service connections to 71 properties that were previously supplied via individual non-lead services from water mains. These properties are now being supplied from the newly installed and commissioned water mains.

Benefits of Project

  • Addresses excess lead issues 
  • Leakage reduction
  • Reduced damage caused by leakage
  • Reduced amount of electricity needed for pumping water
  • Reduced carbon footprint due to reduced pumping 
  • Improved water pressure 
  • Improved water capacity for fire fighting should the need arise
  • Decommissioning of old backyard services

Commenting on the works, Ian O’Mahony, Water Infrastructure Lead at Irish Water said, ‘Irish Water is delighted to deliver this watermain rehabilitation project in partnership with Limerick City & County Council to Ballynanty. In particular, Irish Water would like to acknowledge the support provided by Kieran Lehane, Director of Water Services at Limerick City & County Council, Tracey Reddy of the Northside Family Resource Centre (Ballynanty) and Linda Ledger of St. Munchin’s Community Centre (Kileely) to their communities by delivering water to households that were on a Water Restriction advised by the HSE due to the presence of lead in their drinking water. The assistance of the community groups helped with the smooth running of the watermain rehabilitation project.

Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer at Irish Water noted, ‘The delivery of a clean, safe water supply to all of those on the public water network is the primary focus of Irish Water. By taking a national approach to issues such as lead piping, Irish Water has been able to fast-track works and address the problem as quickly as possible. Irish Water has submitted its proposed lead strategy to all of the stakeholders involved and it is currently under review. As part of this strategy, Irish Water intends to invest in public side lead pipe replacement schemes, primarily communications pipes, (that section of the service pipe between the water main and the stop valve/water meter) with a view to eliminating lead mains, including backyard shared services, such as those that existed in Ballynanty.’


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