Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Water Quality

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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189. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that three towns in County Wexford were subject to boil water notices due to the lack of ultraviolet treatment facilities in the water plants serving these towns; if he will ensure that funding is provided to Irish Water to install these urgently needed facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56813/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. The prioritisation and progression of individual projects is a matter for determination by Irish Water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for enforcing compliance with EU Directives and national regulations for the provision of drinking water.

However, from enquiries which my Department has made with Irish Water, I understand that precautionary Boil Water Notices had issued in the Creagh/Gorey, Newtown/Wexford and the Vinegar Hill/Enniscorthy areas following consultation between Irish Water, Wexford County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

While the boil water notice for the Vinegar Hill/Enniscorthy was lifted earlier this month, I am pleased to note that the boil water notice for the Newtown/Wexford area was also lifted this week (Wednesday, 17 November 2021)

In relation to Creagh/Gorey, Irish Water and Wexford County Council are continuing to work as a matter of priority to resolve this issue. Upgrade works have progressed on site and Irish Water hope to be in a position to request the lifting of the boil water notice this week. Once the monitoring results verify that drinking water quality is in compliance with the Drinking Water Regulations, then Irish Water will consult with the HSE to determine whether the Boil Water Notice can be lifted.

Irish Water is assessing the long-term solutions for these plants, which may include additional UV treatment systems were necessary. The progression of these works will be a matter for Irish Water and its water quality regulator, the EPA.

As part of Budget 2022, I secured funding of over €1.57 billion to support water services. This includes €1.459 billion (Current €629m and Capital €830m) in respect of domestic water services provision by Irish Water.

Finally, it may be helpful to note that Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.


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