Irish Water has confirmed this morning that the EPA has removed 4 water supplies served by the Stillorgan Reservoir in South Co. Dublin from their Remedial Action List (RAL) of water supply schemes at risk of contamination. Since 2008 these supplies have been at risk of contamination by Cryptosporidium due to inadequate disinfection. Irish water has delivered a prioritised programme of work and investment including the installation of UV treatment to remove the contamination risk for these customers and remove these supplies from the RAL following a final inspection audit by the EPA in recent weeks.

The EPA will also publish its drinking water report for 2014 today which confirms the lowest ever number of customers on Boil Water Notices nationally. 6,000 customers are currently on Boil Water Notices down from a peak of 23,000 at the end of 2014. 112 drinking water supply schemes are on its Remedial Action List, down from 121. At the start of 2014 close to 1 million customers were dependent on water supplies that were at risk of contamination. This number has now been reduced to 770,000 but continued risk based investment and adopting a best practice Water Safety Plan approach as a single national utility is essential to ensure fit for purpose drinking water quality and capacity for Ireland.

“Work by Irish Water on specific actions recommended by the EPA for Public Water Supplies is well advanced in a way that would not have been possible without a national utility approach”, said John Tierney Managing Director of Irish Water. “Irish Water has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) Water Safety Plan ‘source to tap’ risk assessment and mitigation approach to make sure drinking water supplies are safe and secure. We are already working on 171 Water Safety Plans on supplies serving 1.5m people and expect to have completed Drinking Water Safety Plans for 60% of public water supplies nationally by the end of 2016”, he said. “6 Water Safety Plans were completed when Irish Water was set up in 2014”, he said.

“The work we have done in just 2 years tells us we need at least €13bn in investment to deal with legacy issues with our water supply and treatment systems. The Irish Water Business Plan to 2021 sets out a €5.5bn investment and a transformation of service delivery to bring our water infrastructure up to a proper standard. By 2021 historic boil water notices and the 112 schemes on the EPA’s Remedial Action List will be dealt with. We will have removed all lead shared service pipes and assisted homeowners to significantly reduce the risk of lead contamination from lead pipes in their own homes. We will increase spare water production capacity in Dublin from 2% to 15% and reduce the proportion of plants nationally that don’t have this extra capacity to less than one third from almost 50% today”.

Irish Waters Business Plan – ‘Transforming Water Services to 2021’ is available here.
 

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