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Minister Murphy welcomes lifting of precautionary boil water notice but cautions that work continues at the plant

Published on Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019
Minister Eoghan Murphy

Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government this afternoon (12th November) welcomed the lifting of the boil water notice for all areas in Dublin, Kildare and Meath.

“This precautionary boil water notice has caused people stress and was a significant disruption to everyone’s daily lives and to business. I apologise for the impact of this second incident. I am working closely with Irish Water and the regulators, in their respective roles, to make certain that all efforts are being made to safeguard this strategically important water supply. The water system for the whole region must be protected, enhanced and made more resilient to current and future demands.”

The latest notice was necessary to protect public health from illness and was put in place following a consultation between Irish Water and the HSE.

While the plant has been operating satisfactorily since Wednesday evening, it was necessary for the notice to continue, to allow time for any potentially compromised water to flow through the network and to have three rounds of water quality testing to be taken and analysed.

Commentary from the Minister stated: “However, the treatment plant at Leixlip will continue to be vulnerable to fluctuations in the raw water quality until a full upgrade of the filters is complete in mid-2020. Irish Water, and the EPA, are examining the details of what further treatment is necessary beyond the current developments (such as ultra-violet treatment). Irish Water and Fingal County Council have taken immediate steps to reduce the risk of further water restrictions, however further problems cannot be ruled out.  More personnel have been deployed to the site; automated shutdowns are now in place; other treatment plants have been ramped up to take some pressure off Leixlip; and monitoring at the site has increased.

The solution is the upgrade works already underway at the site, the works to rehabilitate filters, to improve disinfection processes and put in place further treatment steps to ensure fully robust and resilient treatment at the plant.  This process is being accelerated as quickly and safely as possible while still maintaining supply to the greater Dublin area.

The Minister has asked his Department to convene a meeting with Irish Water, the EPA, the HSE and Fingal County Council to conduct a post-incident review.  This meeting will examine the lessons to be learned and will help inform the future approach of all agencies who have a role to play in ensuring the supply of clean water and protecting our health and environment.

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