RAL-free Sligo means all customers enjoying fully compliant drinking water following removal of Lough Talt from EPA at-risk list

04 February 2021

Almost 13,000 water consumers in Co Sligo received good news this week following the removal of the Lough Talt water supply by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from their Remedial Action List (RAL). The Lough Talt supply was on the RAL because the water treatment plant did not provide adequate treatment for protection against cryptosporidium and the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and needed to be upgraded.

Irish Water experts worked with colleagues in Sligo County Council and contractors to carry out the necessary works at the plant to enable the boil water notice that was on the scheme to be lifted in November and following that the good news this week that the scheme has also been removed from the RAL.

This latest report from the EPA shows that Irish Water has reduced the number of schemes on the RAL in Sligo from 4 to zero since 2015. That means that almost 27,000 people or 40 per cent of the Sligo population, whose schemes were previously on the RAL, are now enjoying fully compliant water.

John McElwaine, Irish Water, commented: “Irish Water and Sligo County Council would like to thank the customers supplied by the Lough Talt water supply for their patience and cooperation while essential works were carried out to upgrade the water treatment plant.

Irish Water installed new robust treatment processes at the plant. The completed works mitigate against THM formation, protect against cryptosporidium, and improve the water quality.

Dr Pat O’Sullivan, Drinking Water Compliance Specialist with Irish Water added: “The publication of the latest RAL by the EPA confirms that significant progress has been made in recent years in the delivery of clean and safe drinking water in County Sligo. Across the country six water supply zones have been removed from the latest RAL. However in many areas, the scale of the challenge faced by Irish Water in ensuring the delivery of clean and safe water remains. Working in partnership with Sligo County Council, Irish Water is delivering results with significant improvements being made year on year and we are delighted that all schemes in County Sligo have been removed from the EPA’s action list.

Irish Water is also focusing on leakage reduction works in Co Sligo in an effort to drive down leakage by upgrading old and damaged water pipes. As part of the Leakage Reduction Programme, almost 10km of problematic water mains have been replaced in Sligo saving over 864,000 litres of water per day. This is the same amount of water as the average daily use of almost 7,000 people. In addition, Find and Fix works, which involve detecting leaks and carrying out repairs resulted in over 3 million litres of water per day being saved.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

For further information about the Leakage Reduction Programme and water supplies across Co Sligo, visit our website.