11 August 2020
By Tom Collins
Almost 1,000 water consumers in Co Cork received good news this week following the removal of two water supplies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from their Remedial Action List (RAL).
The RAL identifies drinking water supplies that are ‘at risk’ of failing to consistently supply safe, clean drinking water. The Ballingeary and Kealkill public water supplies have been given the thumbs up by the EPA following upgrade works by Irish Water working in partnership with Cork County Council.
Kealkill (serving 701 customers) and Ballingeary (239 customers) had both been listed on the RAL as the treatment systems were inadequate due to the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and other contaminants.
To address this, Irish Water and Cork County Council carried out extensive upgrade works at both plants over the past year to improve the water treatment and monitoring processes. As a result, the people of Kealkill and Ballingeary can enjoy a much better quality of drinking water that is fully compliant with drinking water standards.
Paul Cremin, Regional Delivery Lead with Irish Water commented: “We are pleased to confirm that both Ballingeary and Kealkill have now been removed from the Remedial Action List, giving assurance to the people of both communities that they have a clean, safe and reliable supply of drinking water.
“The publication of the latest RAL by the EPA confirms that whilst improvements have been made in many areas, the scale of the challenge faced by Irish Water in ensuring the delivery of clean and safe water in Cork and throughout the country remains. As a single national utility we have been able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water treatment plants and focus investment where the risk to our customers is highest. Significant improvements are being achieved year on year by this approach right across the country.”
Irish Water is committed to ensuring that all of its customers have safe, clean drinking water. It is working in partnership with Local Authorities to address the issues affecting the water supplies which remain on the RAL and to bring them to a standard where the EPA determines that they can be removed.
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.