Compliance team explain challenges facing our drinking water supplies

The Taste of Cavan event 2017 welcomed tens of thousands of foodies to this fantastic weekend of food, crafts and family fun. Irish Water’s North West compliance team were in attendance to tell the story of water and, more importantly, to explain how Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of safe and reliable drinking water to almost four million customers nationwide every day and the challenges facing our drinking water supplies and infrastructure.

Brendan Smith T.D., Chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party and Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence, met with the Irish Water team to offer his support for their ongoing work.

Deputy Smith commented “Irish Water plays a pivotal role in the safe delivery of drinking water every day by identifying threats to public health and intervening to protect our water supplies. Recent high profile incidents demonstrate that now, more than ever, the need for a strategic national plan to safeguard our precious water resources and for the upgrade of an antiquated pipe work system.”

On a daily basis the Irish Water compliance teams work to maintain drinking water compliance through liaison with external stakeholders such as local authorities, the HSE, the EPA, and working internally with cross functional, multi-disciplinary teams, all of whom are integral to ensuring a safe, compliant drinking water resource.

The important message which was primarily delivered by the Irish Water compliance team at the Taste of Cavan can be summed up by the Compliance Lead, Pat O’Sullivan, “The challenges facing our drinking water supplies are managing supply and demand whilst maintaining compliance. Delivering a compliant supply of drinking water is particularly challenging where raw water sources are influenced by pollution and adverse weather events, directly affecting the quality of water intended for human consumption.”

Pollution in the form of pesticides used on farms and in gardening practices are increasingly getting into water supplies and these pesticides cannot be treated or removed from drinking water by standard treatment practices. Irish Water, working in partnership with Cavan County Council and Teagasc, used the Taste of Cavan platform to outline to farmers and gardeners best practice when it comes to the use of pesticides.

“Our vision is to ensure that safe drinking water is sustainable in the region for the long term future. The work that our team is involved in is a reflection of the exciting transformation occurring in the water industry. We play a key role assisting vital programmes to remove entire drinking water schemes from the EPA’s Remedial Action List and in getting boil water notices lifted. As we continue to deliver quality and consistency in our approach we are forging trusting relationships with our stakeholders which in turn benefit our customers.” explained Dr O’Sullivan.

Irish Water’s current investment plan has prioritised the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in the business plan. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021. For more information on the work that Irish Water is doing throughout the country, please visit our Projects and Plans page.


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