Hundreds of Limerick homes warned over contaminated water

Residents advised not to drink water after high lead content detected in Kileely area

Hundreds of  households  on the north side of Limerick city are being advised not to drink their water following concerns over lead contamination. Photograph: Getty Images.

Hundreds of households on the north side of Limerick city are being advised not to drink their water following concerns over lead contamination. Photograph: Getty Images.

Tue, Aug 19, 2014, 14:27

Hundreds more householders living on the north side of Limerick city are being advised not to drink their water following concerns over lead contamination.

Up to 300 homes in parts of Kileely will be issued with leaflets later today after one house in the area tested positive for high lead content.

The latest water alert comes less than three weeks after 400 homes in nearby Ballynanty were put on notice not to drink the local water supply or use it for preparing food following concerns over elevated lead levels.

Limerick City and County Council will connect a stand pipe in Kileely so residents in the affected areas can collect water which is only safe to use after it is boiled.

It is understood following consultation with the HSE Irish Water will issue advisory notices to 300 homes in the affected areas of Kileely later today.

The leaflets to be distributed by staff from St Munchin’s Community Centre will outline why it is unsafe to drink water that is contaminated by lead or to use it for cooking or food preparation.

Boiling contaminated water isn’t sufficient as it doesn’t kill the lead.

Locals are being advised to take water from certified stand pipes and then boil it or to get water from their local community centres which have also been cleared.

Local Sinn Féin City and County Councillor Maurice Quinlivan is calling for testing to be carried out across the city particularly in the older areas of Thomondgate and St Mary’s Park.

“Irish Water need to really tell people what’s going. We also need to test the water in St Mary’s Park, and Thomondgate where there are also older pipe systems,” he said.

“We need a proper reconstruction service to take out the lead. We have contractors out putting in water meters that nobody wants. We need to divert them to replace lead pipes, why should people have water meters if they can’t even drink their own water?”

A statement is expected from Irish Water on the matter later today.