Hundreds of householders told not to drink ‘lead’ water

Irish Water tells Limerick residents levels are ‘above the current statutory limit’

Householders have also been told as a precautionary measure, not to use the water supply for preparing food.

Householders have also been told as a precautionary measure, not to use the water supply for preparing food.

Thu, Jul 31, 2014, 20:02

Irish Water has warned hundreds of householders in an area on the north side of Limerick City their water is not safe to drink.

Representatives from the company have dropped leaflets around to homes in Ballynanty advising residents not to drink their tap water due to the possibility of lead in the supply.

Tests were carried out at a number of homes in the area and Irish Water told residents in a letter that lead levels are “above the current statutory limit”.

The company has issued the warning letter after consulting with the Health Service Executive.

Householders have also been told as a precautionary measure, not to use the water supply for preparing food. However residents have been told they can use the water for toilet flushing, bathing, showering, laundry and dishwashing.

It’s understood that a number of temporary drinking water measures are to be made available to residents in the coming days.

According to the letter, boiling the water will not remove the lead.

In an email to local politicians who represent the residents Ger Dillon, assistant director of service at Limerick City & County Council said: “Recent testing at a number of houses in the Ballynanty Area as part of our drinking water monitoring programme has shown lead levels above the current statutory limit for lead in drinking water.”

“Specific advice has already been forwarded to householders in those premises where elevated lead levels were detected.

Mr Dillon stated that Irish Water “has requested additional advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to risks posed by the possibility of elevated lead levels in the water in the Ballynanty area in general.”

“In the absence of a specific water quality test at your house, the prudent course of action is to assume that your house may also be affected by an elevated level of lead in the drinking water,” he told elected councillors for the area.

“Therefore as a precautionary measure the HSE advice is NOT to drink the water or use it for preparing food or diluted drinks (including baby formula feeds, ice cubes ). However, this water can be used for toilet flushing, bathing, showering, laundry and dishwashing. An important point to note is that boiling water does not remove lead.”

Mr Dillon said that the HSE “also emphasise that pregnant women and young children in particular should not drink water suspected of elevated lead concentrations.”

“In the meantime, Irish Water in association with Limerick City and County Council have arranged for temporary drinking water standpipes to be made available in the Ballynanty Area.”

Mr Dillon said council staff “are available to meet with the elected representatives for the Limerick City North electoral area at 10am on Friday morning, at County Hall, to address any queries Councillors may have.