The Inis Meain water supply has been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA ) Remedial Action List (RAL ) following a programme of works by Irish Water. The supply, which serves a population of 161 people was added to the RAL for elevated levels of trihalomethanes in the water. A programme of works has been completed on the island to bring the supply back into compliance.
In 2016 there were 13 Galway water supplies on the RAL, but due to significant investment by Irish Water this has been reduced to two with ongoing works taking place at the remaining plants to ensure their removal from the EPA’s action list by the middle of this year.
This work comes in the aftermath of nine boil water notices being lifted on water supplies in Co Galway in the last two years, making Galway currently a boil water notice-free zone.
The remaining schemes on the RAL are Ballinasloe Regional Water Supply Scheme, and Williamstown Public Supply both of which are on the RAL for THMs. Works are expected to be completed in Ballinasloe by the middle of this year while Williamstown, which supplies 986 people, will be connected to the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply in early 2018 which will also enable its removal.
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.
Irish Water has put in place the first national THM plan and a prioritised programme of investment to address all inadequacies in drinking water parameters including THMs. By 2021 the utility plans to reduce the number of schemes on the RAL to zero with an investment of €327 million in upgrading water supplies at risk from THMs.
Welcoming this latest RAL update Irish Water’s Regional Compliance Specialist Pat O’Sullivan said: “The publication of the latest RAL update is a confirmation of the focus and dedication of Irish Water and Galway County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county. Works are advancing on the three remaining schemes which we are confident of delivering in the coming months.”
In November 2015, Irish Water announced an investment of €36 million in water infrastructure and €58 million in wastewater infrastructure across Galway. The RAL is updated quarterly by the EPA for those water supplies where investment in treatment processes is required. Irish Water has a prioritised programme of investment for all schemes on the RAL.