8 November 2017 Go back to News
Portumna public water supply removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List
Remedial Action List for Galway reduced to 3 from 13 schemes in 2016.
The Portumna water supply has been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) following a programme of upgrade works to the treatment plant by Irish Water.
Last May, the Portumna water supply was deemed to be THM-compliant by the EPA who then changed the scheme’s categorisation on the RAL to ‘treatment and management issues’. Upon completion of a year-long programme of works to enhance process optimisation procedures at the plant, along with upgrade works, the scheme has been removed from the list.
Last year there were 13 Galway water supplies on the RAL, but due to significant investment by Irish Water this has been reduced to three with ongoing works taking place at these plants to ensure their removal from the EPA’s action list.
This work comes in the aftermath of seven long term boil water notices being lifted on water supplies in Co Galway last year which benefited 22,834 people who no longer have to boil their water before consumption, making Galway currently a boil water notice-free zone.
The remaining schemes on the RAL are Ballinasloe Regional Water Supply Scheme, Inishmean, and Williamstown Public Supply which are all on the RAL due to elevated levels of THMs in the water.
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.
The Inishmean supply, which serves a population of 161 people was added to the last RAL for elevated levels of THMs in the water. Irish Water has identified the solution and is working to have these works completed in the coming months. The utility is also carrying out upgrade works to the Ballinasloe Water Treatment Plant which supplies a population of 7,959 people.
The remaining Galway scheme is Williamstown which supplies 986 people and this will be connected to the Lough Mask Regional Water supply early in the new year.
Welcoming this latest RAL update 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 Galway County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county. Works are advancing on the three remaining schemes which we are confident of delivering in the coming months.”
In November 2015, Irish Water announced an investment of €36 million in water infrastructure and €58 million in wastewater infrastructure across Galway. 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.