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23 May 2022

Environmental report says Kildare has high quality of public drinking water

Environmental report says Kildare has high quality of public drinking water

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99.5 per cent of samples taken in 2020 across Ireland’s 740 public drinking water supplies are compliant for microbiological and chemical standards producing water that is safe to drink.

That's according to the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Report, which was published today by the EPA.

Irish Water (IW) explained in a statement: "Since 2014, IW has been working in partnership with Kildare County Council, to address water quality issues across the county."

"We have built new drinking water infrastructure in towns and villages across the county, improving water quality and benefitting local communities."

The organisation also said that it has also recently completed works in Leixlip to improve the water quality and safeguard the water supply for over 600,000 people in Kildare and the Greater Dublin Area.

"Further progress has been made in 2021 with significant upgrades completed at Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, at Stillorgan Reservoir, and at Vartry Water Treatment plant."

"These works will ensure over one million customers will receive a safe and secure supply into the future," IW added.

Peter Thornton, Regional Operations Lead with IW, also commented on the findings: "Given the size and scale of investment needed to upgrade water treatment plants and the wider water network, IW is very pleased to achieve such a high compliance rate for the Irish public."

"The report is clear, however, that much more remains to be done to secure water supplies into the future.... IW has plans underway to work with Local Authorities and other delivery partners to further enhance our ability to manage public water supplies to the required standards as set out in the Drinking Water Directives.

"Irish Water have also rolled out critical training to all Local Authorities to ensure alarms and controls are in place and are operationally effective to ensure public health is protected now and into the future."

He also told the Leinster Leader that Kildare is among the regions that receives its water supply from the Leixlip and Ballymore-Eustace plants, which he says are "monitor water 24/7, which means that good quality water is guaranteed."

Mr Thornton also mentioned that, following the Ballymore Eustace water plant incident earlier this year, that the EPA has audited the site and has implemented a number of improvements, including increased critical training measures for staff members.  

Over 100,000 people were recently removed from ‘at risk’ supplies in 2020 last year by IW.

At the same time, the organisation invested €450 million in building or upgrading 58 Water Treatment Plants (WTP), including significant upgrades to the Lough Talt and Staleen WTPs.

IW claims that these collectively addressed long running water quality risks for both THMs (which refers to chemicals which may be found in water that can treated with chlorine) and Cryptosporidium.

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