I thank the Deputy for the question. Leixlip water treatment plant is publicly operated by Fingal County Council through a service level agreement with Irish Water and not a private operator. The EPA report of the audit of the recent incident at the Leixlip water treatment plant, published on 30 October, found that the recommendations of the EPA's previous audit of the plant in March 2019 were not implemented. The audit noted that, in particular, the failure to install automatic shutdown when critical plant alarms were not responded to was a contributory factor to the incident on 21 October which resulted in a boil water notice for over 600,000 consumers.
I am extremely concerned that the lessons and corrective actions required following the audit in March were not fully implemented, and that once again so many people are today affected by a boil water notice.
The turbidity issues now arising are linked to the need to upgrade this treatment plant to reduce the risk of contamination. The EPA has identified in its audits that the filters at the plant need to be upgraded without delay.
Since the October incident, Irish Water and Fingal County Council have implemented automatic plant shutdown on high turbidity if there is a failure to respond to an alarm within 15 minutes.
In the case of the current boil water notice, the plant operators reacted quickly, even before alarms were activated, and shut down what is known as the old plant at Leixlip.
I have spoken to the managing director of Irish Water and the CEO of Fingal County Council and will meet them to discuss these issues in detail. I have also requested that the EPA provide me with a full report on the incident in addition to its audit report. This will include the EPA's view on the causes of the incident, if and how it could have been prevented and the responses of Irish Water and Fingal County Council.