Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (286)

Martin Browne

Question:

286. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a boil water notice has been in place in the villages of Golden, Kilfeacle and Thomastown in County Tipperary for almost 12 months; and the measures taken to ensure that a usable water supply is returned as soon as possible without further delay. [6401/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels and the Minister has no function in relation to this matter, under section 7 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013.

Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as environmental regulator, is responsible for setting quality standards and enforcing compliance with EU Directives and national regulations for the provision of drinking water.

However, from enquiries which my Department has made with Irish Water, I understand that a precautionary Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Galtee Regional Water Supply Scheme was issued following consultation between Irish Water, Tipperary County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE). The notice was issued after scheduled network testing identified low chlorine levels in an area between Kilfeacle, Golden and Thomastown.

Remedial works carried out to date have enabled the removal of approximately 40 properties between Tipperary Town and Golden from the Boil Water Notice. Works are still ongoing to ensure an appropriate level of chlorine remains in the water to maintain disinfection of the supply for the remaining customers affected by this notice including the installation of additional flush valves on the network and a chlorine dosing system. A programme of flushing in the network to improve circulation of flows in this area is also continuing.

Irish Water and Tipperary County Council are continuing to work as a matter of priority to resolve this issue and in addition to the short-term remedial actions noted above, are progressing with the design of a longer term solution that would involve the replacement of a length of water main along the N74 between Kilfeakle and Thomastown.

In the meantime, the water quality will continue to be monitored to determine if the remedial measures have been successful. Once the monitoring results verify the satisfactory residual chlorine levels and that drinking water quality is in compliance with the Drinking Water Regulations, then Irish Water will consult with the HSE to determine whether the Boil Water Notice can be lifted.

It may be helpful to note that Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.