Four water supplies in Co Galway have been removed from the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) latest Remedial Action List (RAL) which was published this week. Works carried out by Irish Water over recent years and months has seen a vast improvement in the quality of drinking water being delivered to the public in Galway as acknowledged by the EPA in their latest publication.

The four plants which were removed are Loughrea Lake Road, Loughrea Knockanima, Kilkerrin Moylough and Glenamaddy.

One scheme has been added to the RAL in Co Galway and that is Inishmean which serves a population of 348 people and has elevated levels of THMs in the water. There are eight other schemes in Co Galway currently on the RAL.

Irish Water is continuing to invest in on-going projects in Galway to tackle the different risks to the water supply.

Seven water supply schemes have had boil water notices lifted this year in Co Galway which means 22,834 people no longer have to boil their water before consumption. Those schemes are serving Williamstown, Loughrea, Leenane, Tír an Fhia, Ahascragh, Carraroe and Mid Galway. One scheme, serving 230 people in Kilconnell is on a boil water notice. To date, Irish Water has investigated a number of possible solutions and has undertaken works to determine the feasibility of these different options. Irish Water is currently finalising the optimum solution which will improve water quality on this scheme to enable the lifting of the BWN.

Cryptosporidium is a very real threat to the water supply if the proper barriers are not in place. Irish Water is currently upgrading three plants to eliminate the threat of cryptosporidium, namely Carraroe (the UV barrier is already in place), Kilconnell (UV barrier is in place but raw water quality issues to be addressed) and Leenane (the works in Leenane are complete and once the process has been verified Leenane will be removed from the RAL. This is expected to happen in the coming months).

Five supplies in Galway have elevated THM levels, which have been recorded as above the standard in the Drinking Water Regulations. 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. In Galway Irish Water is upgrading Carraroe and Leenane (works completed on both plants, verification process under way), the Ballinasloe water treatment plant and working to improve operations at the Cleggan/Claddaghduff and Inishmean plants. The utility is also carrying out works to the Portumna and Ballyconneely plants.

The only other water supply in Galway on the RAL is Williamstown.  This scheme was on a boil water notice which was lifted earlier this year after significant improvements to the treatment process and the installation of a UV system was implemented by Irish Water. However, other works may be required and are currently being fully investigated by Irish Water in order to remove this scheme from the RAL. The longer term plan is to connect this scheme to the Lough Mask regional water supply currently being advanced through the planning and ground investigation stage.   

In addition to the RAL the EPA has just published their annual report on the condition of Ireland’s drinking water and the results show that Irish Water’s strategy and investment are having a really positive impact on communities across the country.

Commenting on the EPA’s Drinking Water Compliance Report, the MD of Irish Water, Jerry Grant said:


“Irish Water as a national utility has developed the capability to take a nationwide approach to protecting and safeguarding drinking water for communities. As a country we are lucky to have many safe and reliable sources of fresh raw water that we can treat and use but many factors including soil, rock types, how we use our land, or even very heavy rainfall can negatively affect the quality of our drinking water. Being able to turn on a tap to get clean safe water is something that many of us take for granted. However, this takes considerable investment and work at every stage of a very complex treatment, monitoring and testing process. We have replaced an ad-hoc approach with a more systematic and coherent programme combined with increased investment and enhanced operation.


“This EPA Drinking Water Compliance Report clearly shows that the strategy, investment and implementation from Irish Water is having a very positive outcome for communities across the country. It is essential that people have confidence in their drinking water and know that Irish Water is moving swiftly and decisively in cooperation with EPA and HSE wherever those high standards are not met. That’s why this report from the EPA is so important. Irish Water welcomes having an independent agency reviewing the work that we do to safeguard drinking water. This ensures the work of Irish Water is audited and held to the highest standards.”


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