Irish Water is continuing to invest in on-going projects in Co Roscommon to tackle the different risks posed to the water supply affecting over 18,000 people.

Four water supplies in Roscommon remain on the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) which was published last 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 Roscommon.  Most recently in September, after two and a half years the boil water notice was lifted from the North East Roscommon Regional Water Supply.

The four plants which remain on the RAL are Ballinlough/Loughglynn, Grangemore, North East Regional WSS, and North Roscommon Regional WSS.

The boil water notice was lifted on the North East Regional scheme in September. The scheme was placed on the boil water notice two and a half years ago following the detection of cryptosporidium in the water supply. To address this, Irish Water has installed a temporary water treatment plant consisting of coagulation, containerised filtration and a UV disinfection system at Lisheen Lake. This investment, valued at over €800,000 was carried out by Irish Water’s regional minor programmes team.

This a temporary solution for the interim period until such time as the permanent water treatment plant is commissioned and fully operational. Once the permanent plant is commissioned, the temporary, containerised unit, which is portable, will be reused and deployed at future sites that require UV and/or filtration.

Construction works on the long term solution for North East Roscommon are continuing and involves constructing a new water treatment plant and intake works  which will abstract and treat water from a new source at Grange Lough. This treatment plant will ultimately replace the temporary plant in operation at Lisheen Lake and is scheduled for completion in the quarter two of 2017.  This scheme when commissioned will remove this scheme of the RAL.

The Ballinlough/Loughglynn plant is also on the RAL due to inadequate treatment for cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is a very real threat to the water supply if the proper barriers are not in place.  Irish Water is focused on finding the best and most sustainable solution for the 3,500 people on the Ballinlough/Loughglynn Water Supply Scheme which is also currently on a boil water notice.  Originally, in January 2016, Irish Water proposed installing a containerised UV (ultra violet) disinfection system as an interim measure to enable the lifting of the boil water notice in Ballinlough. However following a detailed assessment, based on our experience installing similar systems in other locations, it became evident that given the time it would take to deliver, install and test the equipment that it would be more efficient and effective to pursue the permanent and enduring solution to secure safe, reliable and high quality drinking water for Ballinlough.

Irish Water has determined that the most appropriate solution now is to extend the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme to Ballinlough and Williamstown. This project is being fast-tracked to ensure it is delivered as quickly as possible.  This is a 12 month contract which is due to commence in early 2017 with the works to supply Ballinlough a priority. 

Grangemore WTW and North Roscommon WTW which supplies water to 7,966 people have periodically recorded elevated THM levels 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.  Currently Irish Water is upgrading the North Roscommon Regional water supply scheme while the Grangemore scheme will be replaced by the Boyle/Ardcarne water supply in the medium term. In the short term the disinfection system is being optimised at this plant.

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.

Roscommon

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