Latest EPA report underscores need for investment in water infrastructure – O’Connor

14 November 2019
By Elaine Murphy

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Cork East Cllr. James O’Connor says Irish Water must urgently ramp up the roll out of infrastructure projects to ensure that we have a safe, secure water supply.

He made the call following the publication of the latest EPA waste water treatment report, which found that unacceptable levels of untreated sewerage is being released into our water.

Cobh was one of three areas highlighted as one of the biggest offenders.

Cllr. O’Connor said, “This report is damning in its criticism of our treatment of our water supply. It must act as a wake-up call to government to ensure that it is adhering to the recommendations contained in the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services report, which it signed off on back in 2017.

“The reality on the ground is that communities across Cork are unable to drink their water because the supply is contaminated. Residents in Belvelly in Cobh have been without drinking water for over 15 months because of dangerously high levels of iron in the supply. They’re now facing into another Christmas without safe water.

“Irish Water is not acting quickly enough to resolve these issues and communities are frustrated and angry. We are facing a real threat to our environment and to people’s health unless the quality of our water supply is not properly addressed. The delays in treatment are simply not acceptable.

“The government needs to ensure that Irish Water has the funding it needs to undertake these essential upgrade works. The Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services recommended that “such funding must be clearly identifiable within existing taxation to meet the cost of domestic water services for the water utility in order to comply with Ireland’s EU obligations”. Fine Gael must allocate the necessary funds to ensure that Irish Water can meet these obligations”, concluded Cllr. O’Connor.

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