Our vulnerable water supply
On Clare FM, we hear that homes and businesses in Miltown Malbay Co. Clare, and surrounding areas are left without water following another break in the trunk main. Irish Water says repairs will not be completed until early 2021. We are told that these leaks have occurred because the infrastructure is old. Replacing the old water main is what is needed but that depends on funding and on priorities. Today also, RTE tells us that the European Commission has threatened to take Ireland to court over the quality of Irish drinking water. This relates to the levels of chemicals called trihalomethanes or THMs – potentially hazardous substances in the drinking water consumed by around 300,000 people in Ireland. This substance has been found in Irish drinking water schemes. The European Commission has said that high levels of THM have been linked to a number of health issues. Our Government has been given four months to respond. The complaint from 2018 related to 97 water supply areas. However, improved water treatment processes have since reduced this number to below the 31 public water supply zones. This is good news and going in the right direction.
These failures highlight the vulnerability of our water supply and that water safety and security is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed.