Water supplies in West Cork need attention

May 18th, 2017 6:03 PM

By Southern Star Team

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IRISH Water says there are now 10 supplies in Cork still on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List (RAL).

The RAL is updated quarterly by the EPA and Irish Water has a prioritised programme of investment for all schemes on the list. 

The 10 supplies in Cork remaining on the list include supplies in Allihies, Crookhaven, Durrus, Leap, Drimoleague, Kealkill and Schull.

They are on the list due to the detection of THMs, or trihalomethanes, in the supply. 

THMs 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. Action plans are being prepared to address issues with THMs at each of these supplies.

 In relation to any risks posed by THMs, Irish Water takes its guidance on the treatment of drinking water in the best interests of public health from the HSE, EPA and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

In specific reference to THMs the WHO has advised that adequate disinfection should never be compromised in attempting to meet guidelines for THMs. They further recommend that THM levels in drinking water be kept as low as practicable. 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 aims to reduce the number of schemes on the RAL to zero with an investment of €327m.

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