Irish Water is examining options to accelerate plans to upgrade piping on the north side of Limerick city where hundreds of local residents have been advised not to drink their water.
Pressure has been mounting on the utility company to revise its plans after it initially said it could take up to 18 months to complete work to eliminate elevated lead levels in some of the affected areas.
More than 750 households in parts of Kileely and Ballynanty cannot drink their water or use it for food preparation following concerns over lead contamination.
According to Irish Water shared backyard services – a feature of Limerick housing built pre-1960s – can contribute to elevated levels of lead which it says is a common feature in Ballynanty and Kileely.
Elevated lead levels Remedial works to remove the remainder of these shared connections are
being planned by Irish Water which it says will cost €6 million and take up to 12 months to complete.
Irish Water said a contractor is commencing the necessary works in Ballynanty to deal with the historical issue.
“A similar issue arose last Friday in Kileely. Although works were already planned for this area to commence in January, Irish Water is now examining options to accelerate delivery of a solution in a similar time line to Ballynanty,” it said.
In the notices distributed to affected households the HSE emphasised that pregnant women and young children in particular should not drink water suspected of elevated lead concentrations.