Upgrades to Mayo water treatments plants on schedule to be completed by end of 2017

Irish Water has welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) update published last week which shows where works are progressing in Co. Mayo for the benefit of over 46,000 people whose water supplies are on the RAL.

There has been no change to the amount of schemes on the RAL in Mayo with the number remaining at four. The Ballina-Lisglennon and Inishturk schemes remain on the RAL for elevated levels of THMs and Irish Water expects works to be completed on these schemes by the end of 2017. Irish Water is currently upgrading the Ballina-Lisglennon water treatment plant and works include optimising the process and upgrading the disinfection system. This will ensure the removal of this scheme from the RAL subject to approval of the EPA. At the Inishturk Water Treatment Plant the disinfection system is currently being upgraded and other works to eliminate THMs are planned. Again it is hoped to remove this scheme from the RAL by year end.

There are two other water supplies in Mayo on the RAL - Kiltimagh and Lough Mask Water Treatment Plants and specific work improvements to both processes are underway. At Kiltimagh water treatment works, the disinfection system is being upgraded and the water treatment process optimised. At Lough Mask water treatment works a €1.6m project to improve the treatment process is underway with an expected completion date of August 2017. 

Irish Water has put in place the first national THM plan and a prioritised programme of investment to address all inadequacies in drinking water parameters including THMs. By 2021 the utility plans to reduce the number of schemes on the RAL to zero with an investment of €327 million in upgrading water supplies at risk from THMs.

THMs, or Trihalomethanes are chemicals formed by the reaction of naturally occurring dissolved organic material and chlorine which is used for disinfection in order to protect against pathogenic bacteria.

Nationally Irish Water has adopted a prioritised programme of works which will require an investment of €2 billion by 2021. Significant improvements are being achieved year on year by this approach, including in Co Mayo where there are no boil water notices in place.

Speaking about the RAL and the ongoing work in Mayo, Irish Water’s Regional Compliance Specialist Pat O’Sullivan said: “The publication of the latest RAL update is a confirmation of the focus and dedication of Irish Water and Mayo County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county.

“As a single utility Irish Water is able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water production plants and where serious compliance challenges are found they can be tackled more effectively and efficiently. The decommissioning of smaller water treatment plants and rationalisation of water supply zones as has happened in Mayo could only be achieved by a single utility.” 

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.

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