Leixlip drinking water plant taken off EPA warning list

Facility was included on Remedial Action List after boil water notices imposed in 2019

The Water Advisory Board  said the Leixlip plant’s difficulties showed up the vulnerability of Dublin’s water supply. Photograph: iStock

The Water Advisory Board said the Leixlip plant’s difficulties showed up the vulnerability of Dublin’s water supply. Photograph: iStock

 

The Leixlip drinking water treatment plant in Co Kildare has been taken off the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warning list for vulnerable supplies.

The plant, which serves a population of some 620,000, was the centre of purification difficulties over an extended period in 2019, which led to boil water notices being issued.

The Water Advisory Board, which oversees the work of Irish Water, later said the plant’s difficulties showed up the vulnerability of Dublin’s water supply and highlighted risks that apply to other major supplies around the country.

On Friday evening, Irish Water said the EPA had taken the plant off its Remedial Action List (RAL) – an action which was confirmed by the agency.

The Leixlip plant was added to the RAL in early 2020 following the imposition of two boil water notices in October and November 2019.

In a separate move, almost 32,000 people supplied by the Navan Mid-Meath Liscarton supply in Co Meath also saw their supply removed from the list.

Irish Water said the removal of both supplies from the list “has led to the lowest ever population on the RAL since Irish Water was established”.

Fifteen filters have been upgraded at the Leixlip plant, each of which can process up to 12 million litres of water per day, which is the equivalent of five Olympic sized swimming pools.

An ultra-violet disinfection system was also installed, resulting in a safer and more secure water supply for homes and businesses served by the plant. The risk of any future boil water notices has been greatly reduced.

Speaking about the removal of Leixlip facility from the RAL, Eamon Gallen, general manager of Irish Water, said delivering the upgrades at the operational water treatment plant was “challenging”. He said the removal of this scheme from the list was “testament to the collaboration between Irish Water, Fingal County Council and our contractors Glan Agua”.

While the scheme has been removed from the list , an EPA direction remains in place with a deadline of June 2023 for the completion of pH correction works, he said. This is expected to be completed by 2023.

Six schemes have been added to the list: Nenagh Regional, Burncourt Ballylooby, Clare Island, Kereen, Carlow Regional, and West Clare (old) WTP. In total a population of more than 650,000 has been removed and almost 32,000 people added.

Irish Water said it has a prioritised programme of investment for all schemes on the list.