The Lough Mask regional water supply has been removed from the most recent Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA ) Remedial Action List meaning up to 40,000 people have had their water supply removed from the agency’s to-do list. The scheme was on the RAL for treatment and management issues at the plant which have now been addressed following a €1.9 million upgrade by Irish Water working in partnership with Mayo County Council.
The works were carried out over the course of a year by Murphy Engineering Ltd as part of an overall upgrade and expansion of the water treatment plant at Lough Mask. The plant is now fully compliant with all relevant regulations and will soon be supplying water to Williamstown in Co Galway and Ballinlough/Loughglynn in Co Roscommon as well as continuing to supply a large section of Mayo.
The Kiltimagh water treatment works are also on the RAL and the plant is undergoing upgrade works to the disinfection system while the water treatment processes are being optimised.
The third Mayo scheme on the RAL is the Inishturk public water supply which is on the RAL for high levels of THMs. A contractor has been appointed to carry out the necessary works with the project due for completion in March 2018.
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.
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.
Speaking about the RAL and the ongoing work in Mayo, 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 Mayo County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county.
“As a single utility Irish Water is able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water production plants and where serious compliance challenges are found they can be tackled more effectively and efficiently.”
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.